Open letter to the Charities Services with regards to the RNZSPCA change of purpose

I wish to file this formal complaint with the charities Services  

on the grounds

  • significant financial loss to the charity, or the illegal or corrupt use of the charity’s funds or resources;
  • serious harm to beneficiaries (especially to vulnerable beneficiaries);
  • charities deliberately being used for private pecuniary profit or to abuse New Zealand’s tax laws;
  • where a charity’s independence may be compromised;
  • serious wrongdoing by a charity, its officers/trustees or employees, that damages or has the potential to damage its reputation and/or the reputation of the charitable sector;
  • serious non-compliance in a charity which could constitute serious risk to  public interest;
  • damaging public trust and confidence in Charities Services  as an effective regulator

I am a  member of the Hawkes bay  branch of the RNZSPCA ,  That branch is one of  the many members which make up the RNZSPCA.

Recently I attended a meeting of  Taupo residents  and Taupo branch members who were concerned   about being disenfranchised  from  their  society  .

What the Taupo  members and I have in common  is that as members  we have not been able to vote on  the one SPCA proposal

It appears  that there is a group of people who  have taken upon themselves to promote  the one SPCA concept  but have manipulated the   branches and  member societies in such a way as to ensure that their  objective of   disestablishing the   smaller society and taking their   assets is achieved.

Andrea Midgen  has now filed a new constitution which was allegedly passed last week in circumstances  which stretch  the  concept of democracy  as delegates  for at least 15  societies   had no mandate  from the members who  they purported to represent .

The new constitution for he RNZSPCA  which went  live today   differs entirely from the   previous  constitutions and  has  adopted new objectives for  the society  this now reads

4.1 The purposes of SPCA are to create a better life for, and prevent cruelty to and neglect of, Animals in New Zealand and in particular to:

a. be the lead organisation for Animal welfare in New Zealand;

b.educate New Zealanders about their Animal welfare responsibilities including developing and delivering programmes and activities;

c.establish and maintain facilities and provide services throughout New Zealand to improve the welfare of Animals using standards, policies and practices based on best practice and scientific knowledge;

d.promote and advocate for Animal welfare legislation and standards;

e.act as an Approved Organisation under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, including taking action against those who fail to comply with their legal obligations relating to the physical, health, and behavioural needs of Animals

Since the  objectives of the society  have changed  they may now  no longer qualify for charitable status

I note that   in particular they wish to provide a better life for animals  ..  this probably needs to be read in conjunction with this  you tube recording which  demonstrates the   wastage of   donated charitable funds.   Providing a better life could include buying a better car for the owner of the  animal  something which according to this  recording  has happened in the past .

To be the lead Animal welfare  organisation .. sounds like empire building, in the other  hand Andrea Midgens boss, Gordon trainer has already registered a company called  SPCA Aotearoa.  this brings about a potential of conflict of interest for her  as acting CEO of the RNZSPCA and raises the question  is she acting for the RNZSPCA or for her employer  the  Auckland SPCA and sole  share holder of  SPCA Aotearoa  Ltd

Gordon Trainer  is the sole director  of SPCA Aotearoa  Ltd  he  is also the only person  from the Auckland SPCA  who   has  control of some sort of the   25 million dollars which unsuspecting benefactors have left the the SPCA and which has found its way to the   Auckland SPCA. In  the mean time  smaller branches burdened by extra financial  commitments by being billed to take on an employee of the RNZSPCA choosing , have been   wound up

educate New Zealanders about their Animal welfare responsibilities  , they are currently  euthanizing more animals than ever before  , they  are spending more on   human  resources  and corporate wages  particularly looking at getting the inspectorate   going and prosecuting more new  Zealanders.    so is education  going to be through prosecution ?  It has to be of note that it is the SPCA   and not the RNZSPCA  who have the team of lawyers on board .

.establish and maintain facilities and provide services throughout New Zealand to improve the welfare of Animals, since the one spca movement began a number of  local SPCA”s have  been  disestablished , their buildings sold  and   as a result  there are fewer SPCA’a than before , e.g. Te Kuiti, Waikato  , Te Awamutu  etc

promote and advocate for Animal welfare legislation and standards  again their objectives appear to be more in line with a law enforcement authority than a charity  whose beneficiaries are animals

act as an Approved Organisation under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, The government  has responsibilities for animal welfare this is primarily   performed through the MPI and the police .   A former  RNZPSCA  president , Neil Wells ,who was also a barrister wrote the bill for  animal welfare act and was  Independent adviser  to the select committee  and  did not declare his conflict of interest when he included  the provisions for the concept  of  Approved organisations.

Mr Wells went on to   set up his own ” approved organisation  The animal welfare institute of new Zealand   which in reality did not exist and was just a trading name for himself.  He relied on  what I have found to be a fraudulent application, followed by misleading information to the minister there is more just search this site  using the  key word AWINZ

The persons who have been behind this drive for the  SPCA to develop the inspectorate just happen to former  MPI inspectors . this   whole concept is not about  being a charity but  about starting a law enforcement group  using  the 25 million or so ,this has been   side lined into trusts.

These funds  which were given to the SPCA have been deprived  from the true  beneficiaries , the animals.   there appears to be a massive misappropriation of charitable funds  because  people dont realize that the SPCA  has been hijacked.

The new powers are equally   frightening

establish a Board, commissions, committees. forums, and other groups, including consultative groups,and to delegate its powers and functions to such groups;

be an Approved Organisation under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 with such powers and .authority as specified under that Act

invest, lend, advance or otherwise deal with monies and secure the payment of such monies with or without charges, or guarantees; ( these are charitable funds ! )

produce, develop. create, own, licence and otherwise exploit. use and protect Intellectual Property;

purchase or otherwise acquire all or any part of the property, assets and liabilities of any one or more companies, institutions, trusts, incorporated societies or organisations whose activities or objects are similar (in whole or in part} to those of SPCA, or with which SPCA is authorised to merge or amalgamate,or for any purpose designed to benefit SPCA;

And this is the bit where   I believe SPCA aotearoa comes in

establish, acquire, carry on or participate in any business or enterprise which fulfills the Purposes of SPCA (in whole or part);

q. be a member of, affiliate or be associated in any other way with, any organisation which has objects which are similar, in whole or in part, to the Purposes of SPCA; and.

With the   change in the objectives   the transformation is complete   below is the  former purpose  for comparison


  1. The Objects for which the Royal Society is established are:

(a) To prevent cruelty to animals by:

(i) Encouraging and sustaining an intelligent public opinion regarding man’s duty to animals;

(ii) Enforcing where practicable the laws which exist for animals’protection;

(iii) Promoting further legislation for the protection of animals, as may be appropriate;

(iv) Any other ways and means as the Royal Society may deem appropriate.

(b) To co-ordinate the activities of the various Branches and Member Societies;

(c) To promote Branches in districts where there is no Branch or Member Society in existence;

(d) To generally do all such acts and things as shall or may be for the benefit of Branches or Member Societies or in the interests of animals and their welfare.

Evidence  that the RNZSPCA has not  been acting  in accordance with its former objectives  can be found   by looking at

  1. the increase of euthanasia this is not in the interest of animals
  2. the closure of branches which could have been saved  with charitable funds which according to this recording have been misappropriated 
  3. the   replacement of volunteers with paid RNZSPCA staff and then passing  the   costs on to the branch so as to  cause financial hardship  which is then used to  wind up the   society
  4. the unlawful ” administration of  incorporated societies “
  5. by denying members the right to contact  other members and by  calling only a SGM when it suits the RNZSPCA but not  calling a  AGM in three years ( Taupo) or allowing  new people to become members.  This is not  acting in the benefit of branches
  6. there is a gross conflict of interest between the  Auckland SPCA   and the RNZSPCA  . there has been a  historical    fight for power , it now appears to me ,  that the  Auckland SPCA   which has posed as the SPCA see here   has succeeded   in taking control of money and is now taking over the  RNZSPCA  and  will pass that control   through to   itself  by virtue of  this new constitution .

all that is required is  for the  smaller branches to   wind up and the Auckland SPCA will   take over  the RNZSPCA  and put it under the umbrella of SPCA aotearoa.  Public money  corporate wages private gain and a private law enforcement power  with strict liability offences and a  licence to print money .. certainly not  acting charitably  in my opinion

Constitutions  for branches taken into administration , (for which there is no legal provision) , have been unlawfully filed  to ensure that the latest constitutions  state  that on winding up or dissolution the assets go to the RNZSPCA.

I have been told that  well over 2 million dollars of charitable funds have been used for this restructuring. Money which could have been put to good use  by saving branches which have been closed down   by  people other than the members.

The new constitution allows for the   new organisation , (that is what it is   as the  whole constitution appears to have been replaced in one go) to pick and choose its members

the emphasis is  on   the inspectorate   and it is  not  coincidental that   Mr Wells who wrote the legislation also set up the training program at Unitec for inspectors,  so by  becoming inspector focused there is a financial spin off for others  but what has been forgotten is that before a prosecution can occur  an animal has to suffer . so the  society for prevention of  cruelty no longer fulfills its   traditional  role  having instead become an enforcement agency  and therefore by definition is no longer a charity .

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I therefore request an urgent revue of the RNZSPCA   with regards to its charitable status, misappropriation of charitable fund and the grounds stated above

I have posted this on transparency in the interest of transparency .


From: Compliance <>
Sent: Thursday, 13 July 2017 3:19 p.m.
To: ‘Grace Haden’
Subject: RE: complaint with regards to the new uncharitable constitution of the RNZSPCA

Dear Grace

Thank you for your email regarding the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Incorporated (RNZSPCA), registration number CC22705.

The concerns that you have raised have now been reviewed, however Charities Services has determined not to initiate an investigation into the RNZSPCA.  We will only consider exercising our legislative powers under the Charities Act 2005 when there is evidence of:

•          the charity no longer meeting the requirements for registration;

•          a breach of the Charities Act 2005;

•          ‘serious wrongdoing’ in connection with a charity.

Serious wrongdoing is defined under section 4 of the Act as:

(a)  an unlawful or a corrupt use of the funds or resources of the entity; or

(b)  an act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes a serious risk to the public interest in the orderly and appropriate conduct of the affairs of the entity; or

(c)  an act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes an offence; or

(d)  an act, omission, or course of conduct by a person that is oppressive, improperly discriminatory, or grossly negligent, or that constitutes gross mismanagement

Charities Services is unlikely to investigate disputes that relate to the governance of an entity or service delivery matters. We will also not become involved if your concern is about a decision made by the officers of the charity that is within the law or within the rules of the charity. Charities Services is unable to overrule a decision made by officers that is within their powers to make, simply because others do not agree with it.

The decision of the SPCA delegates to form one national organisation from it 45 independent centres is one that the organisation is able to make, and not one that Charities Services has the legislative mandate to overrule.

You may wish to contact the SPCA New Zealand directly, or seek independent legal advice, in regards to your concerns.

Kind regards

James Lathan | Assistant Investigator

Charities Services | Ngā Rātonga Kaupapa Atawhai
Extn: 4846 | DDI: +64 4 382 3946

120 Victoria Street, Wellington 6011 | PO Box 30112, Lower Hutt 5040 | www.dia.govt.nzFollow us on Facebook  

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