• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Whenever you search in PBworks, Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) will run the same search in your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Gmail, and Slack. Now you can find what you're looking for wherever it lives. Try Dokkio Sidebar for free.



Page history last edited by Tom van Bodegraven 13 years, 9 months ago

Pique and troughs for petanque club


Carolyn Webb - Melbourne Age newspaper. Photo of Chinka Steel is courtesy of Melbourne Age newspaper.

September 8, 2008. See also Petanque Club Takes Federal Court action. See also PETANQUE FEDERATION AUSTRALIA right of reply


"Chinka" Steel, the secretary of the Woodend Hanging Rock Petanque Club, which is taking court action against its deregistration. Photo: John Woudstra


THE normally sedate world of petanque is in turmoil after its national body deregistered a top Victorian club.


The Woodend Hanging Rock Petanque Club is taking Federal Court action against the Petanque Federation Australia decision to disaffiliate it.


In petanque, a French sport similar to lawn bowls, players throw a metal ball along a gravel piste, aiming it as close as possible to a wooden jack.


It is highly social: during daylight saving, Woodend members play weekly at Hanging Rock car park, followed by a barbecue. They also play around Australia.


But its board has accused Woodend's secretary, local lawyer H. E. P. "Chinka" Steel, of misbehaviour damaging to the sport's reputation.


A May 24 report on the issue by the federation's secretary, Richard Tarlinton, seen by The Age, says that at the annual general meeting on March 21, Mr Steel had objected to a motion to amend the PFA constitution, "but in the process yelled and screamed at board members and called them 'liars, cheats and fraudsters' ".


The report alleges a "history of antagonism" between Mr Steel and some board members: he had complained about the federation's treasurer to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, threatened its lawyer with legal action and "used emails as a weapon, sending vast numbers of unsolicited and unnecessary emails on a daily basis to board members and members of other clubs".


The report said Mr Steel had intimidated some club officials to an extent that "they just wanted to leave the sport".


In recommending Woodend's disaffiliation, Mr Tarlinton wrote: "I believe that the club thru (sic) its secretary H. E. P. Steel's behaviour is damaging the reputation of the sport of petanque in Australia."


But Mr Steel, a former Racing Victoria board member and former local councillor, accused the federation of overreacting.


He said he had apologised in writing for his demeanour at the AGM, although his concerns were genuine. He denied calling board members "liars, cheats and fraudsters". "I was extremely upset at the AGM, because the information that they (the PFA) were providing to the meeting was incorrect. The document purporting to explain the alterations to the constitution was not based on the existing constitution."


Mr Steel said the federation was "extremely sensitive to criticism" and had rejected offers to mediate the matter, so the club would claim in court "that PFA has acted outside the powers of its constitution and against the laws of Australia".


A hearing for an injunction against the ban will be held on September 23 in Melbourne.




See also State of Petanque in Australia.




At 8:45 PM, Blogger NZPC Editor (Tom) said...


Someone from Australia please tell us that the Melbourne Age got it wrong. Surely PA would not “disaffiliate” an entire club just because they don't like one of the club members; lawyer H. E. P. "Chinka" Steel.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


This makes our little spats look quite insignificant really. Instead of shouting hos mouth off, Mr Steel should have waited for the vote to take place, had some lunch and then demanded the vote be taken again. Works well this side of the Tasman.

Graeme Burnard

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for reminding us once again of the totally horrendous issue of Lorraine Brock changing her mind at a meeting. Just when everyone thought it had settled down as pretty much of a non event we can still rely on a member to resurrect it. You know where we went wrong with this issue? We didn't get it in front of Winston Peters! This is just the kind of thing that Winston would be begging to get hold of. It's right up there with ... er..... Tuku's Undies?

Let's hang on and see if Winston gets in again. if he does and he's too busy to take this travesty of democracy to the media then i'm pretty sure some member will revive it so it doesn't slip from our memory..... ever.....


Andy G

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am sorry but I am appalled!


I remember a mentor once saying that the validity of any complaint was relative to the input they put into the solution to the problem.


In other words be part of the solution not part of the problem then your opinion will have value.


stop your complaining unless you have a better solution that YOU are prepared to help implement!!!




Grant H


At 12:24 AM, Blogger NZPC Editor (Tom) said...


Not sure what all this relates to but I remember a philosopher once told me:


A complaint has as much validity as any other observation and does not have to be accompanied by a solution or preferred outcome in order to stand on its own merits”


I suppose examples of this would be to complain about the American financial markets, or the National Government or the Labour government or, God forbid, complaining about Winston Peters - all valid complains and observations. None of these would necessarily need to be accompanied by solutions to give them value or credibility. Remember, a solution is not by definition a positive. What is a good solution for one, is a holocaust for another (yes, I am making a reference to Hitler).


What I like about philosophers is that they are thinkers and tend to be open to other possibilities and opinions.


Instead of complaining we could also re-joys in the fact that we are all entitled to voice our opinions on this NZPC Blog.


“Be part of the solution not part of the problem” This has been parroted by a number of people again recently. I wonder if anyone knows what this little slogan actually means? Whose solution and whose problem is this slogan referring to. It seems such a hollow phrase - how do we know at any one time whether our actions are part of a solution or a problem, and who decides all this. Is driving a car or riding a bicycle being part of a solution or problem? Simplistic slogans are without meaning and are only devoured by the faithful believers. Something to chew on. -Tom.

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Goodness me - I didn't think my tongue in cheek comment would create such a response. The only response I would make regarding your comments Andy, would be my concern that you think the changing of a vote that effects the way our organisation operates is a non event. I did do something about it. I wrote to PNZ asking that the original vote be upheld. I also spoke to the person who allowed the second vote to go ahead and aked him why he allowed it and he said "because I could"

The only reason it has been swept under the carpet is because we have an apathetic membership who whisper amongst themselves but don't have the guts to make their opinions known. If this had happened in any coporate boardroom or AGM, heads would have rolled.

Graeme Burnard

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


If I may be so bold as to make an observation. Reveiw the last few initial postings.

Transtasmand youth challenge- a positive, attracts no comments. the magazine- a positive, attracts no comments. the new coaching structure- a positive, attracts one comment. the womens team fundraiser- a positive, atracts 1 comment. the situation at Hanging rock- a negative, attracts 7 comments. Does that indicate something of a trend? I've met and been wined and dined by Chinka Steel and I've also played at the Woodend club. Chinka's a passionate guy and i can imagine he'd get wound up about something he beleives in. Now it's got him into deep water.It's a serious situation for them and my thoughts go out to both sides.I did get a little disappointed that a member of PNZ took yet anther opportunity to rake up the past and get yet another stab into PNZ.I'd have given these commentees more credibility if i'd seen the same correspondents adding to the positives mentioned previously. Er Grant? Who is doing the complaining? It's not me again, is it? Cheers


At 1:35 PM, Blogger NZPC Editor (Tom) said...


In fairness to our members though, a good number did make a comment about the Juniors on the PNZ Blog. It was this PNZ Blog which posted the original post (our NZPC Blog only made a link to this great posting). We should also agree that it is not usual to make a comment about an announcement of our upcoming PNZ magazine. Incidentally, I did not see any positive comments from Andy. I was also intrigued by:


“I've met and been wined and dined by Chinka Steel and I've also played at the Woodend club. Chinka's a passionate guy and i can imagine he'd get wound up about something he believes in.”


I wonder if the people who occasionally speak their mind in NZ could also be classed as “passionate people who get wound up about something they believe in. It sounds so much nicer than "knockers" ”trouble makers” “negative people” or “ slaggers”.

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hi Tom and is it possible you have 'accidentally' taken my comment out of context?. Perhaps it was because of your intrigue?

The comment in it's relevant entirety (below)is serving to demonstrate that the Aussies have a problem internally. I've met and socialised with both sides of the debate. I personally take little glee in the fact that a brother petanque federation has some internal strife. Neither would I be tempted to use their unfortunate situation to fire some cheap shots at our own federation. As for positive comments from myself, maybe you should check back over the postings. The tone of my postings is generally pro the advancement of the game in New Zealand and anti the whingers and 'slagers'(sic) who prefer to sit on their duffs and fire cheap shots at those guys who are actually working to make the game advance.

I've said it before and i'll repeat it now. This column may be a vehicle for the 'concerned members' to voice their opinions. but its a part of the problem and it's never going to be part of the solution until the 'concerned members' get off their duff and stand a post as part of the people who are trying to advance the game.

Below is the comment repeated in it relevant entirety. Read it with both eyes open and perhaps you won't be quite so intrigued.

Have a good one, everybody


Andy G.


I've met and been wined and dined by Chinka Steel and I've also played at the Woodend club.

Chinka's a passionate guy and i can imagine he'd get wound up about something he beleives in. Now it's got him into deep water.It's a serious situation for them and my thoughts go out to both sides.I did get a little disappointed that a member of PNZ took yet anther opportunity to rake up the past and get yet another stab into PNZ.

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Good on ya, Andy!

Graeme Burnard

At 11:38 PM, Blogger NZPC Editor (Tom) said...


I am also tempted to say “Good on ya, Andy”.


But Andy’s dishonesty needs a reply.

 First of all Andy clearly states that no one has made a comment to the two posts “The magazine and Transtasman and youth challenge” and these two posts become part of his “statistical trend”. He knew full well that comments had been made, and he also knows that people do not normally make comments about magazine covers. I want to know why he did not provide a “positive” comment to the very posts he uses to make a case for his “statistical trend”.? He backtracks and says he has made positive postings and comments elsewhere. Andy is now creating a different and new story. Andy you use the two previously mentioned posts to show a “trend”. If this does not work for you, you simply ignore that and create a new scenario - go figure.


The other thing I am asking is (and Andy did not get this), why do we call people who have shouted at, and verbally abused petanque officials (Melbourne Age article) “Passionate people” when they have wined and dined us?. Why do we call other people who behave in a more civilized fashion, trouble makers who sit on their duff?


I must take you out to dinner one day Andy :-)

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


HI Tom and thanks for the observations. Might I offer the example that Chinka Steel actually stood up (at a public meeting) and was counted (possibly counted out, if hindsight is still 20/20). He didn't sit in the background and fire cheap shots from the comfort of his computer. Whether I agree or disagree with Chinka's views is irrelevant. I still applaud him getting to his feet (off his Duff) and trying to actually do something that he beleived will improve the game. Please be advised that i respect the right of anyones views. However I always give more credibility to anyone who can demonstrate their commitment with a level of physical contribution.


Second point--- A text taken out of context is a pretext.


Third point--Dinner? I'd love to.


Have a good one everybody and I hope all those who did the skill tests over the weekend exceeded their expectations.





And a comment I missed out on an earlier posting re Tuku's undies-- If nothing else, it was a cover up!---


At 6:14 PM, Blogger NZPC Editor (Tom) said...


Yes, Chinka Steel hurled abuse at AP officials at a public meeting (Melbourne Age). You seem to be saying that Chinka somehow deserves our admiration for doing this in public instead of via a computer. I believe that the method of delivery is immaterial. As we all know WPA posted a letter to PNZ about a perceived voting incident, this letter they subsequently published on the Web. All this was done using today’s technology - via computers. This does not make WPA cowards firing cheap shots from the comfort of a computer chair.


Talking about cheap shots, when is something a “reference to a past event”, and when is something a “cheap shot”? My take is this: a “cheap shot” is something we do not like, and a historical event is just that, a historical event.


Like you Andy, I am also not interested in what Shinka said. My concern is (as I have expressed in my first comment to this post) that AP is going to punish an entire club for the outburst of one member. I say this in public, and have been the only person to do so. I will continue to stand up for what is right and what is wrong. I have a feeling Shinka Steel and I would get on well - we are both passionate people.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger NZPC Editor (Tom) said...


Forgot to say, as an Australian citizen I take a special interest in what goes on in that great country.

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


If we are going to continue to take text out of context I think we should start blaming...er..... Graeme burnard started all this discussion off so lets blame him.That's as valid a viewpoint as others that are being put forward.

I've tried to explain my views in two or three different ways and still they do not seem to be easily understood in their entirety by some of the co-respondents. My command of english must not be as competent as I initially perceived it to be. I will bow to pressure and concede that Chinka Steel must be a right whatnot for standing up and stating his views.Alternatively maybe it's the Aussie federation who are right whatnots for exercising their rights? I'm not quite sure what i'm allowed to think. Am I a better person for not taking up a post with the dark side (PNZ). Maybe i'd be a wiser person if i sat huddled over a computer and delivered my pearls of wisdom via technology. Maybe I should just get a life?

And that is where this sad little discussion will part company with the reality of running an organisation.

Cheers to all

Andy G

At 6:13 PM, Blogger NZPC Editor (Tom) said...


Your English is fine Andy. All you have to do is construct a succinct argument. How about explaining what you think about what Graeme says:


“…..my concern is that you think the changing of a vote that effects the way our organisation operates is a non event.…”.


Why do you think WPA has written to PNZ to seek clarification on this “non event”?


Andy goes on with:


“....Chinka Steel must be a right whatnot for standing up and stating his views. Alternatively maybe it's the Aussie federation who are right whatnots for exercising their rights....”


Andy has throughout this thread carefully avoided the cardinal issue, namely:


PA is going to “disaffiliate” an entire petanque club just because they don't like one or two club members.


He will not be drawn (in public) on whether this is right or wrong.


As for: “….maybe it's the Aussie federation who are right whatnots for exercising their rights....”


Exercising their rights? Surely even Andy must have some alarm-bels going off somewhere in his head.


I think our readers will make their mind up about “this sad little discussion”. In my view it is just too easy to claim the good old “taken out of context” line when things do not go your way. Shinka Steel did not resort to this - he apologized to PFA.


Better next time Andy.

Cheers, Tom.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.