Request for Auckland council to investigate corruption

From: Grace Haden
Sent: Thursday, 8 November 2012 4:25 p.m.
To: ‘Doug.McKay@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz’Mayor Len Brown

Subject: request for urgent investigation by council

Good afternoon  Doug

I made a LGOIMA request from your   solicitor Wendy Brandon.

I admire her efficiency as  within an hour she had ascertained that the documents  I   requested  were not  available  she  stated “I confirm that the information you requested cannot be located and/or does not exist.’

As I cannot  doubt the integrity of your  lawyer , who is after all an officer of the court and expected to uphold the rule of law , and being a  council employee she  is bound by the provisions of the local government act  with regards to transparency , I have to accept her response  and  apply the implications of this response to  my LGOIMA request

It is not for the    counsel  for council to  conceal corruption . She has a duty to  ensure transparency and accountability  and as a lawyer her honesty and therefore her word  can be  assured.

 

What transpires in applying her response to the following request brings about serious issues of concern and I  ask the council to immediately investigate this  in the interest of the public.

 

The LGOIMA request  was as follows    I have added under each paragraph  what   the logical interpretation must be given the reply of  Wendy Brandon  …  I requested

  •  Documents  which show that council has investigated the  use of the   council facilities , staff and resources   by AWINZ.
  1. If the information does not exist this means that the council has never investigated, this is appalling   as it proves that the council is being negligent with  contracts,  conflicts of interest and allowing  the  public resources to be used for private pecuniary gain
  •  Documents  and policies which allow the  managers of    divisions such as  dog and stock control  to independently contract / sign agreements to third  parties and  the processes which need to be followed.  E.g. Mr Didovich writes on behalf of Waitakere city council , what authority did he have to   give these assurances on behalf of council?

 

  1. If the information does not exist this means that the council has not got any policies for  council managers and it appears to be a free for all , it must be of concern then that a  council manager signed an agreement which allowed a third party to use the councils facilities, staff and vehicles  for  free. This would not be a wise use of councils funds.
  •  Mr Wells  in the guise of AWINZ also told MAF that   AWINZ was  going to take over the animal welfare services  please provide any  documentation discussion papers  etc  which  would have  given Mr Wells  foundation for this statement. ,  see application
  1. If the information does not exist this means that Mr Wells  misled the minister , The council now being aware of this  has a duty to  ensure that the minister becomes aware that the council   had no knowledge with regards to the AWINZ matter and that the parties who corresponded with him  n th guise of council had no  mandate to do so.

 

  • Invoices for the payment  of   Kensington swan for all  legal  opinions  requested by council or by Dog and stock control   for the legal opinions  in  2000  which persuaded the  Minister to   give approval to AWINZ  as an approved Organisation   links to the legal opinion are here   initial  opinion             Draft           final

 

  1. If the information does not exist this means that the council  manager involved   engaged Kensington swan  in his professional capacity  and  the council should make urgent enquiries as to who did pay for the services.
  •  Why council  continued to  push for AWINZ to be approved  when crown law  said that it was ultra Vires  and any minutes of any council meetings which  gave a mandate for this use of council funds.- plus any documentation which considered the cost benefit analysis of this  action.

 

  1. If the information does not exist this means that the council was not involved in the animal welfare aspects of the dog control  section and that  tis now calls for an urgent investigation in view of the  statements  from MAF which recorded that  AWINZ did operate from council premises.

 

  • What was Lesley Wears position with  council and was the question raised in the fax  located here    addressed  please provide a copy of the response

 

  1. It therefore appears that  Lesley Wear never received a response , I would however  have thought that council might have known who she was  since she was employed by council, perhaps this was overlooked by Ms Brandon, after all it was a lot of information that she got through in one hour.
  •  In an email Neil Wells  states “while that could have been answered immediately  by the council legal section , council decided to obtain  independent legal opinion from  Kensington Swann that opinion has  now come to hand this week and  confirms  the  previous legal opinion  sent to MAF policy in past years ” Please provide   all council documents which supports this statement  and  who in Waitakere city  was waiting for directions as to where the   Kensington swan letter should be sent to  .

 

  1. If the information does not exist this means that the council lawyer was  circumvented  and that the   legal opinion which was  obtained was not one which the council  had  requested or authorised , but had instead been requested by Mr Wells for his own purposes and apparently  paid for by  council. The  legal opinion swayed the minister as he believed that the legal opinion came at the request of council.  If this is not the case then it is important    and the minister should be   advised immediately that he has been misled.

 

  • All documents  after 2000 relating to animal welfare   were not  made available to me, I request that these be made available for my perusal and copies as required arising from that.

 

  1. If these documents are still missing then  Council  should be asking questions as to why all  documents  relating to the dog and stock control division are missing,   MR Wells the manager appears to have  an issue with losing vital documents, the governance documents for AWINZ were missing, the trust deed was lost more than once despite there being two copies  and now it transpires that  he somehow lost/ misplaced  all  the  animal welfare documents   for council, I would have thought that losing all the   documents for an  entire department would have been a matter of concern.  I now  of three persons who were sacked by council for a lot

Corruption is a serious matter  Doug.   This matter has been swept under the carpet for the past 6 ½  years , Your counsel in looking for this information and   discovering that it is all missing must  be seeing the red flags of fraud.  May I suggest that the council calls in the police or serious fraud office.

I  can assist  I have a chronology of  documents to simplify the matter,  I am a licenced private investigator and can tell you  that those documents disclose  the fact that council premises were being used by a fictitious organisation  called Animal welfare institute of New Zealand  and that   Mr Didovich  and Mr Wells colluded together to use the council  resources for private pecuniary gain.

My summary is  below, the hyperlinks  open the documents  shown  .

This letter will also be on Transparency.net.nz  so that those who are following this  matter can be kept in the loop.

I  would imagine that in view of the  information  which Ms Brandon has given me  that  it would be negligent of council not to investigate.

I am certain that this is the tip of the ice berg in council corruption  and  you will no doubt  uncover more  and thereby save rate payers millions.

As ever I am happy to assist.

Regards

Grace Haden

VeriSure

Because truth matters

Phone (09) 520 1815
mobile 027 286 8239
visit us at  www.verisure.co.nz

 

From: Wendy Brandon [mailto:Wendy.Brandon@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz]
Sent: Wednesday, 7 November 2012 2:53 p.m.
To: ‘Grace Haden’; Mayor Len Brown
Cc: Councillors
Subject: RE: Councillors kept in the dark with regards to corruption

Dear Ms Haden

As advised in my reply to your most recent requests for information, if you wish to make a complaint about Council’s response, you must direct that complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman.

 However, I confirm that the information you requested cannot be located and/or does not exist.

As to the remaining allegations, Council must obey the law. There is currently an injunction in place prohibiting you from making any statements or allegations “reviling or denigrating Mr Wells”.  This latest round of emails and other correspondence contain statements that clearly fall within the terms of the orders being the same or similar to those that gave rise to the granting of injunctive relief.  Unless or until the injunction is dismissed, I am unable to take any further action.

Kind regards

Wendy


From: Grace Haden
Sent: Wednesday, 7 November 2012 2:08 PM
To: Mayor Len Brown
Cc: Councillor Penny Hulse; Councillor Cathy Casey; Councillor Richard Northey; Councillor Sandra Coney; Councillor Penny Webster; Councillor Mike Lee; Councillor John Walker; Councillor Sharon Stewart; Councillor Michael Goudie; Councillor Ann Hartley; Councillor Cameron Brewer; Councillor Christine Fletcher; Catriona McDougall; Councillor Alf Filipaina; Councillor George Wood; Councillor Des Morrison; Councillor Calum Penrose; Councillor Noelene Raffills; Wayne Walker – wayne@waynewalker.co.nz (External); ‘Dick Quax’; Councillor Arthur Anae; ‘Bernard.Orsman@nzherald.co.nz’; brian.rudman@nzherald.co.nz; Wendy Brandon
Subject: Councillors kept in the dark with regards to corruption

Open letter  and LGOIMA to  Mayor Brown  with regards to Corruption apparently  being condoned by counsel for  Council .

Sir, please find here with a  most condescending reply from your general counsel Wendy Brandon

I originally requested speaking rights   with regards to  serious corruption which occurred within  Waitakere city council, it involved public office for private pecuniary Gain and my   assertion is  backed with solid evidence.  I followed this up with LGOIMA requests    and second LGOIMA  seeking   the ability to   discuss the matter with a councillor

Instead of  solutions  I   receive a put down by  Brandon  who is severely neglectful of both her duties as  an officer of the law and as a  counsel to   council

The fundamental obligations of a lawyer are to the rule of law  and as such she is employed in a public capacity and  is all that stands between the exposure and concealment of corruption.

AWINZ  is an “organisation”  run by the  then dog and stock control manager  and existed on council premises   used the council  staff and vehicles  emblazoned with identical logos as used by AWINZ   the  “ organisation “ .

While council denied its existence   MAF at a time of  an audit  recordedit was at times  difficult during the audit  to distinguish where the structure  of AWINZ finished  and where WCC began  hence it was  at times difficult  to separate the AWINZ organisation  from that of WCC. For example AWINZ inspectors are not employed by AWINZ but are  all employees of WCC”

 Effectively this independently  proves   my allegations  of  Public office for private  pecuniary gain .

Counsel  has responded to me and attacked me( if you can’t attack the  issue it appears that you attack the person )   ,  she does not get the point that the issue I am raising  has nothing to do with  any court action   but has everything to do with corruption within council.

Previous counsel for  Waitakere Denis Sheard denied  emphatically that AWINZ existed on the premises.  The independent evidence   which I have provided    to council on the 21st October  shows  that this was the case.

Wendy Brandon should  be asking questions  with regards to the MOU attached  and  be asking

  1. Why was the council lawyer was  not involved in the  drafting and  supervision of the signing of the MOU with AWINZ .
  2. Why was  Animal welfare services   able to enter into an agreement with a trading name( AWINZ  does not exist as a legal person )    and be questioning  the research  if any which was done  to establish  who represented the name  the animal welfare institute of New Zealand. The document  concerned is the MOU  attached and available here
  3. Why  was Mr Wells  employed by council without consideration  to the conflict of interest  this posed ,which by the way  was not declared on his application ,
  4. Further Counsel and  Council should be  aware that the  manager whom Mr Wells  signed this MOU with    became  a member of the so called trust which was set up as a cover  up  on 5 December 2006
  5. And was the council aware that  Mr Didovich had used council funds to pay Mr Wells   to  set up the trust ( this is one of many invoices .
  6. And that Mr Didovich collected  and witnessed the signatures  of the alleged trustees of the 2000 AWINZ  trust while he was on leave .
  7. 7.       Mr Didovich also wrote to  the minister approving  of the use of staff, he did this on the letter heads of  North shore and Waitakere city council . MAF were looking for assurances from council but only got these assurances from an accomplice a council manager without consultation through  the proper avenues in council .” MAF would appreciate a written assurance from the Waitakere and North Shore City  Councils that they have the legal power to spend money derived from rating on animal welfare (by paying inspectors when they undertake animal welfare work).”
    1. It should be noted that Lesley Wear asked for an explanation, and questioned what the risks were for council  it would be  good to see if this  was ever addressed
    2. Mr Didovich  also   sought a legal opinion, which circumvented   the  councils solicitors    and obtained  the Kensington swan opinion.  When  crown law   opposed the involvement of council  in   the animal welfare work  due to  it being ultra vires   a second legal opinion was sought.  A draft was  sent back to  Didovich  and   then the final version   came back     which was a decision the minister relied upon… this  final  document   had information which indicates   significant input  from Mr Wells with his personal knowledge of the event on the select committee.
      1. Council should be asking why was the council lawyer left out of the loop ?
      2. What was the costing estimate how much did the  legal opinion cost?  And how was it paid, who authorised it.

I  sincerely believe that Council is keeping the lid on this matter because by  exposing it – it would open a can of worms.

By Way of LGOIMA  I request

  1. documents  which show that council has investigated the  use of the   council facilities , staff and resources   by AWINZ.
  2. Documents  and policies which allow the  managers of    divisions such as  dog and stock control  to independently contract / sign agreements to third  parties and  the processes which need to be followed.  E.g. Mr Didovich writes on behalf of Waitakere city council , what authority did he have to   give these assurances on behalf of council?
  3. Mr Wells  in the guise of AWINZ also told MAF that   AWINZ was  going to take over the animal welfare services  please provide any  documentation discussion papers  etc  which  would have  given Mr Wells  foundation for this statement. ,  see application
  4. Invoices for the payment  of   Kensington swan for all  legal  opinions  requested by council or by Dog and stock control   for the legal opinions  in  2000  which persuaded the  Minister to   give approval to AWINZ  as an approved Organisation   links to the legal opinion are here   initial  opinion             Draft           final
  5. Why council  continued to  push for AWINZ to be approved  when crown law  said that it was ultra Vires  and any minutes of any council meetings which  gave a mandate for this use of council funds.- plus any documentation which considered the cost benefit analysis of this  action.
  6. What was Lesley Wears position with  council and was the question raised in the fax  located here    addressed  please provide a copy of the response
  7. In an email Neil Wells  states “while that could have been answered immediately  by the council legal section , council decided to obtain  independent legal opinion from  Kensington Swann that opinion has  now come to hand this week and  confirms  the  previous legal opinion  sent to MAF policy in past years ” Please provide   all council documents which supports this statement  and  who in Waitakere city  was waiting for directions as to where the   Kensington swan letter should be sent to  .
  8. All documents  after 2000 relating to animal welfare   were not  made available to me, I request that these be made available for my perusal and copies as required arising from that.

I wish to add that the  Ms Brandon  is not employed  to   conceal corruption and she has an obligation to  facilitate  transparency and  accountability , documents which I have obtained in the past show that as much as 40%  of the work  for   animal welfare services in Waitakere  was  being  Animal welfare work  which according to the documents I have was ultra Vires for council  .

Mr Wells  appears to have been   able to control and influence council and derive a personal income from animal welfare prosecutions undertaken as a result the involvement of  council officers working in council vehicles paid by  the public.  the evidence is shown in the chronology    this is   Public office for private   pecuniary income  a recognised form of corruption .

He effectively   ran  an SPCA type organisation   using council  staff resources and  vehicles.  All income  and no expense. And it appears that Wendy Brandon is condoning this .

No wonder our rates are  sky high.

A full chronology is available at http://www.transparency.net.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/full-chronology-AWINZ.pdf

Truth is never defamatory   I am not denigrating Mr wells  I am  stating fact  supported by the 5000 or so documents on my chronology     .

I have paid well over $300,000  because I did some pro bono work for a council officer  who questioned why she  was volunteering her council paid time to   AWINZ. Council responded by sacking her  and then taking her back to the ERA  on allegations of breach of confidentiality.  Others have been sacked and silenced as well , No wonder council  staff do not speak up   speak up and you lose your job.

Council should have investigated. It’s not too late they can still investigate  I have done the hard work   not just for free but at a personal  cost which is far too high.

It is through the neglect of council that I  have  had to endure 6 ½ years of litigation .

Is  Council  so irresponsible that it cannot see corruption  even when it is pointed out to them?  Is   placing gaging orders over  staff who  speak out  in concern  a  responsible thing to do ?How does that fit  in  with transparency????

By  doing nothing Auckland council is proving that  it condones corruption, this is a well-researched matter which proves  how corruption occurs in council  .

Auckland council by ignoring this shows that it  prefers to attack the messenger rather than  look out for the  interest of the public.   we pay the rates  we  should have accountability .

 

I look forward to  a civil response  and  the information I have requested supplied.

Regards

Grace Haden

VeriSure

Because truth matters

Phone (09) 520 1815
mobile 027 286 8239
visit us at  www.verisure.co.nz

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