Anderson allegedly failed to repay money on time


The disgraced former organiser of the Pub Charity New Zealand 7s may face further court action after he allegedly failed to meet a reparation deadline.

Richard Edgar Anderson, 53, was sentenced in the Queenstown District Court on September 10, 2012, by Judge Michael Turner after admitting three charges of causing loss by deception, totalling $64,000, to the Sevens with Altitude committee, between January 26, 2009, and October 6, 2010.

The sentence took effect on September 12.

At sentencing, he was given two years to repay the remaining $48,601 owed.

On Friday, the Ministry of Justice confirmed as of then the reparation had not been paid in full.

“The Queenstown District Court is considering other action,” a spokesman said.

The ministry would not comment on how much reparation was outstanding on Friday.

Sevens with Altitude committee chairman Clark Frew told the Otago Daily Times on Friday the matter was now out of the committee’s hands.

“The judicial system will do what … it needs to do.

“It was two years ago, everyone’s moved on … we would just like our money back.”

At sentencing, the court heard Anderson was one of the principal organisers and founders of the popular sevens tournament, which was held for the 10th and final time in Queenstown in 2013, before the committee lost the rights to host it.

His roles included operational director and committee secretary.

Tournament beneficiaries were Otago Country Rugby, Otago Rugby and Wakatipu and Arrowtown rugby clubs.

Anderson was authorised to incur tournament costs, for example team air travel and accommodation, and then claim reimbursement from the committee. He could also accrue air points.

In December 2010, when Anderson presented an invoice to the committee purporting it to be from the Mercure hotel for accommodation for the 2011 tournament, the treasurer was concerned by a “sizeable increase” in costs.

The costs of the tournament were then examined by the committee and, following an investigation, Anderson was formally charged, initially facing six indictably laid charges, three of which were withdrawn a month before his 2012 sentencing.

Judge Turner ordered Anderson to make reparation payments at $20 per week initially.

However, lump sum payments were also ordered following the sale of his personal vehicle, if necessary from the realisation of land held in the Hakianihana Family Trust, of which Anderson was a trustee, and, if necessary, from funds received from Anderson’s interest in a business which was for sale at the time.

“In any event, [reparation must be paid] in full within two years of today’s date,” Judge Turner says at his sentencing.

He was also sentenced to 10 months’ home detention, but in December Mountain Scene reported Anderson was reprimanded by the Department of Corrections after breaching his conditions.

Anderson was permitted to leave his property for an hour twice a week for fitness sessions, but during one of those periods was found to have refereed a junior touch rugby game at the Queenstown Events Centre.

The breach meant his twice-weekly fitness session privileges were withdrawn by the department.

Anderson claimed on Friday night the Ministry of Justice fines call centre told him on Friday he had until September 18 to repay the reparation – which contradicts a statement the ministry made to the ODT that afternoon.

The ODT could not independently verify Anderson’s claim.

The fines call centre in Auckland would not release information – something Anderson says he had authorised – and referred the matter to the ministry’s Wellington communications staff.

Communications staff member Antony Paltridge told the ODT he was not in a position to authorise the call centre to release information and repeated the ministry’s previous statement Anderson had not met the reparation and the court was considering further action.

The ODT asked Anderson if he intended to repay the reparation within two years, to which he replied: “I’m trying to. It is my intention to repay it and I am repaying it.”

He would not say how much he had repaid to date, saying: “I’m not telling you how much. that’s something you don’t need to know.”