Archive for April 2010
For some time now we have been questioning what has been happening with charities, we appear to have more than ever and there are some charities which are nothing but a name.
We are not the first to question this articles can be found at
It appears that we are not alone this article has just been received from the UK
We have pointed out to the select committee that there are charities which appear to have no members e.g. The Roundtable On Violence Against Women Trust. This trust is not registered any where and is a trading name for person and persons unknown.
What we do know is that the address to which it is registered is that of Alana Bowman an active labour party member.
It appears that all you need is a credible sounding name, a cause which is funded and from there we have very little transparency.
Is New Zealand’s financial crises caused by funding non existent entities which provide back door support to political parties?
We will forward an Official information act request to see what funding if any this organisation has received. And will keep you posted.
Regulation required if judges can’t be trusted
Liam Baldwin | Friday April 16, 2010 – 03:59pm
There is a fundamental flaw in the Guidelines for Judicial Conduct in that they are not binding.
The guidelines, which were kept secret until late last year, were coincidentally publicly released after the repeated badgering of the Crown Law department by judge-busting lawyer Sue Grey.
The purpose of the guidelines, dated August 2005, was to “provide practical guidance” to judges.
“The general principles can readily be accepted as standards all judges in accepting appointment agree to live by and the public of New Zealand is entitled to expect in judicial conduct.”
However, the guide is not intended to be a code, it self-decrees. “It does not identify judicial misconduct. It is advice.”
But, given the judicial rort that surrounds the precarious situation of Supreme Court judge Justice Bill Wilson, the government should start to look at these guidelines as an opportunity to create statutes – laws that actually govern what a judge must reveal before sitting on a case.
Justice Wilson was a fresh-faced Court of Appeal judge when he sat on a case between superfine wool producer Peter Radford against the Wool Board Disestablishment Company (Disco). He was part of a panel that overturned a High Court ruling in favour of Mr Radford.
Queen’s counsel Alan Galbraith was Disco’s lawyer. He was also Justice Wilson’s business partner and friend.
Because of Justice Wilson’s failure to be completely honest about aspects of his personal business dealings, a mockery is being made of the judiciary. If the government finds itself unable, or unwilling, to do anything about it, the least it should do is seriously consider sweeping changes to the rules.
The guidelines actually go on to explain further why they should only be an advisory.
These guidelines are not principally concerned with the sort of misconduct which would justify removal from office. They are concerned with the promotion of higher standards of conduct.
No system of discipline to impose and support a code of conduct for judicial officers exists in New Zealand or comparable jurisdictions for good reason. It would undermine the fundamental principle of judicial independence.
The guidelines claim judicial independence is not protection for judges but for the people of New Zealand.
In the case of Justice Wilson, the disqualification of judges’ guidelines are particularly pertinent.
The judge must be alert to any appearance of bias arising out of connections with litigants, witnesses or their legal advisors. The parties should always be informed by the judge of facts which might reasonably give rise to perception of bias or conflict of interest.
Justice Wilson failed to do this. There was some attempt to point out the nature of the relationship he had with a lawyer who appeared before him, but the true scope of it was only made clear when it was prised out of him by the Supreme Court.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s more.
Judges should disqualify themselves if in a close relationship to litigants, legal advisors or witnesses in the case. It is impossible to be categorical about the relationships which may give rise to concerns about impartiality. Clearly close blood relationships or domestic relationships are disqualifying.
That seems clear. However, it might not have been clear to Justice Wilson – it doesn’t specifically refer to bloodstock.
Justice Wilson is, or was, friends with Alan Galbraith QC, apart from being a business partner. Mr Galbraith is, or was, clearly friends with Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias. These three, along with Dame Sian’s husband Hugh Fletcher, also had shares in racehorses together.
But, wait, there’s more.
Shareholding in litigant companies or companies associated with litigants should be disclosed. They should always lead to disqualification if the shareholding is large or if the value of the shareholding would be affected by the outcome of the litigation. Where the shareholding is small, full disclosure should still be made.
Justice Wilson and Mr Galbraith each held 50% of Rich Hill Ltd. A 50% shareholding is considered substantial. In additions, this was a company that owned land worth millions of dollars. There was also debt which led to the Supreme Court concluding Justice Wilson was financially indebted to Mr Galbraith.
It is impossible to be categorical about relationships which give rise to disqualification but a judge should always disqualify himself or herself whenever a party, lawyer or witness of disputed facts is a close blood relative or domestic partner of the judge or a close relative of the judge or where such person is a close friend or business associate of the judge.
It is purely semantics to argue the fine points of the guidelines because, as they point out, they are simply guidelines and not absolute rules.
The intent of the guidelines is clear. Justice Wilson should have fully disclosed his business relationship with Mr Galbraith even prior to the Court of Appeal case being considered.
If New Zealand can’t rely on a man’s integrity, then the government must regulate. It has no reasonable choice.
By PHIL KITCHIN – The Dominion Post
Few New Zealanders realise that the greatest identity fraud is the one which occurs every day through companies people, groups of people using trading names.
So common is this that we almost defend this as being legitimate but if you were to call yourself by a different name you are sure to get side ways glances.
This week I looked at the New Zealand Charity & Legal Gazette Printed Edition Listings 2009 and have checked some of the names off against the societies register and not surprising for me there is a significant number of charities which are soliciting bequests who do not exist on the register in that name.
Names can be impressive sounding but they are just names unless they are registered and formed into a body corp.
There are many trusts which set up some are formed through deed and others through hot air . some deeds are registered to make the trust a legal person , others just leave you guessing as to who or what they are and what the purpose of their trust is, by leaving money to them you could be subsidising some ones retirement plans
The oecd has a website devoted to corruption and a paper relating to public procurement
At transparency NZ we are concerned about the manner in which things are done, changes made without consultation, or consultation which is carried out because the box has to be ticked but any thing that comes out of the consultation won’t make the slightest bit of difference.
Penny Bright is actively dealing with public Private relationships such as water privatisation and the super city. Her blog is http://waterpressure.wordpress.com/
Grace Haden is now focused on the privatisation of Dog and stock control . her blog shows how privatisation of this began as long as 20 years ago . Her blog is at http://anticorruptionnz.wordpress.com
Vince Siemer our press officer has a news web site Kiwis First located at http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz he provides the news that others seek to suppress.
In comparing notes we have discovered that there are similar trends. that is how Lobbying is carried out and how those with business interests appear to have more say than those whose lives and well-being the nation should be considering.
New Zealand has moved from a country with caring leadership to one which is driven by business , the people have become a commodity and greed is rife.
In short we have lost integrity the ECD has a definition
Integrity can be defined as the use of funds, resources, assets, and authority, according to the intended official purposes, to be used in line with public interest. A „negative‟ approach to define integrity is also useful to determine an effective strategy for preventing „integrity violations‟ in the field of public procurement. Integrity violations include:
· Corruption including bribery, „kickbacks‟, nepotism, cronyism and clientelism;
· Fraud and theft of resources, for example through product substitution in the delivery which results in lower quality materials;
· Conflict of interest in the public service and in post-public employment;
· Abuse and manipulation of information;
· Discriminatory treatment in the public procurement process; and
· The waste and abuse of organisational resources.
This could be the reason why New Zealand has not ratified the united nations convention against corruption because we can almost certainly tick all of the above boxes .
Our aim is to provide the information so that New Zealand can move closer to ratifying the united nations convention against corruption so that New Zealand can become the lesast corrupt with integrity rather than achieving that statistic by attacking and silencing those who attempt to expose corrupt practices.
The united nations convention against corruption pages are at http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/index.html
If you have never seen the Battle of the Kruger clip , now is the time to do it its available in various versions on YouTube.
I have been inspired by this clip became to me it shows that when one or two come out to take on the lions their strength is not just their own physical ability it is more significant what they have backing them up.
Transparency New Zealand has been formed to provide a platform on which Kiwis who are concerned about the direction that New Zealand is taking , can gather .
There is strength in numbers .
Also we have identified how things like the super city get pushed though the strategies used by businesses to get the support of those we elected.
We don’t appear to have a voice – so we aim that transparency New Zealand will be the voice for the silent majority.. but we cant do this alone.. will you join us?
Please send an email to info@ verisure.co.nz to show your interest