Open Letter to Tracy Phillips GENERAL MANAGER SPCA INSPECTORATE

Good afternoon Tracy 

I am writing to you in connection with the prosecution of Barbara Glover and Janine Wallace as reported in the Herald today 

I am a former police prosecuting Sergeant and am a retired Private investigator. I have done a lot of work with the Animal Welfare Act and I was contacted by Janine last year and was asked to look at the prosecution for the Volkerson dogs. 

I did not know Janine or Barbara and my first step was to visit their farm and see what was going on. I never intended to become involved to any great extent but what I have seen with regards to this prosecution has struck me as very very wrong and there is so much that simply does not stack up.

Because of the multitude of issues and the need for accountability and transparency I have decided to ask the questions which the lawyers are not asking. It is easy for people to make the assumption that an organisation like the SPCA would not take a prosecution unless it is serious but I certainly have not seen any evidence of any animal neglect or mistreatment and would not be sticking my neck out if what I had seen had supported the actions of your inspectors.

There is obviously a lot of public interest and I am concerned with the online bullying which has gone on and the manner in which these ladies have been executed before they have even been to court. In fact the manner in which they are being treated is grossly inhumane.

In my day in the police no single person ever dealt with a prosecution, there was always oversight of the file by a more senior person in the police. This file is akin to one person ” throwing the book ” at two ladies for trivialities.

I further concerned that it appears that this file is being prosecuted by a person who has left the employment of the SPCA and that there is no legal organisation which has charge of the file.

The whole thing appears to have been passed to the Crown Solicitor to prosecute. The involvement of the Crown Solicitor in itself is a concerning matter as this is a Private prosecution and is in breach of the  Terms of Office of Crown Solicitor (at point 16). 

The inspector who was involved from day one was Kevin Plowright he left the SPCA on 21 June 2019, so the prosecution file has lacked oversight by the officer in charge since at least that date and probably before that when Plowright was overseas see https://www.spca.nz/news-and-events/news-article/ronas-roar

It occurs to me, that the timing of the events with Volkerson, the publicity and fund raising capacity that this gave for the SPCA and the winning of the  2017 Rona’s Roar prize by Kevin Plowright may well be more than meets the eye. 

Getting back to the identity issue

According to the Bio on the Detector Dogs website, Kevin worked with Neil Wells in Waitakere City Council where Wells operated the “approved organisation” which was AWINZ for some 10 years ( there have only ever been two approved organisations one the RNZSPCA the other was AWINZ ) 

Kevin was warranted as an AWINZ ( Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand ) inspector from 2002-2005.

AWINZ was a fictional organisation, it did not exist in any legal manner or form but no one in MAF( Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries ) at the time or since has cared about this. A fictional organisation which had coercive public law enforcement powers has been totally condoned. 

Kevin is a protégé of Wells and would be aware of the significance of using the correct name for an organisation and he has seen that fictional organisations are condoned. 

Kevin Plowright was employed by the Auckland SPCA from 2005 – 2007 and again from 2010 to 2019. The Auckland SPCA is an incorporated society officially known as THE SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS AUCKLAND INCORPORATED (222889) this is its constitution 

The Royal New Zealand Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals is the approved organisation under section 121 animal welfare act which gives the SPCA its inspectorate powers which by virtue of section 190 is passed on to its member societies

The Auckland SPCA is a member society of the RNZSPCA see the constitution of the RNZSPCA society number 218546 schedule 2

It Is very clear by this that the SPCA Auckland and the RNZSPCA are two distinctly separate organisations to the extent that the constitution of the RNZSPCA defines. 

SPCA Auckland as The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Auckland Incorporated (registration number 222889). and the “RNZSPCA” and “SPCA” mean the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Incorporated and includes its officers, employees and Board Members, unless specified otherwise.

The charges however has been laid as follows: 

“I, Kevin Plowright of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Auckland) have good cause to suspect that has committed the offence specified below.”

Question for Tracey Phillips. I will have questions for you from time to time in this open manner and undertake to put your responses up publicly and un changed. Because of the multitude of issues I will tackle them one by one.  Today the question of identity. 

Who or what is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Auckland) ?  There is no such organisation and fictional organisations are not capable of taking a prosecution see Section 16 Criminal Procedure Act 

The contact person is the Crown Solictor who appears to be ducking for cover and we have now been told officially through the court one thing one week and an another the following week. 

Tracey it is apparent to me that neither the RNZSPCA nor the SPCA Auckland has oversight of the file and no one has been able to fully and fairly inform Barbara or Janine what the specific allegations are with regards to each alleged offence.

If you looked at the file as closely as I have, you will notice that evidence is rather sadly lacking and given that all the inspectors involved have left the RNZSPCA, we need to identify a person representing the alleged prosecuting body, and for them to take charge and ensure that the file is of prosecution standard and that each charge can be sustained. 

As the most senior inspector we presume that the responsibility must fall on your shoulders.

The papers are reporting this as an RNZSPCA prosecution. However based on the court papers it appears that it is a prosecution by a fictional organisation and as such the charges cannot stand .

It also appears that no one in the SPCA Auckland or the RNZSPCA has had oversight of the prosecution and that Kevin Plowright has prepared the file and handed it on to Luke Radich the relative of Jenny Radich through the Anita Killeen pro bono prosecution scheme .

Please advise urgently .

RESPONSE

From: Tracy Phillips <Tracy.Phillips@spca.nz>
Sent: Thursday, 29 October 2020 10:17 am
To: grace@verisure.co.nz
Subject: RE: Open letter with regards to Volkerson prosecution

Tena koe Grace

As the matter is before the courts I am not in a position to comment.

Kind regards

Tracy

      Tracy Phillips General Manager Inspectorate
SPCA 
New Lynn Office 3047 Great North Road | New Lynn 
PO Box 15349 | New Lynn | Auckland | 0640 | New Zealand P: +64 021 191 59 56 E: tracy.phillips@spca.nz  | W: www.spca.nz   Text me if this is urgent as I do not regularly check my emails during the day         

From: grace@verisure.co.nz <grace@verisure.co.nz>
Sent: Thursday, 29 October 2020 10:35 am
To: ‘Tracy Phillips’ <Tracy.Phillips@spca.nz>
Subject: RE: Open letter with regards to Volkerson prosecution

Thank you Tracy

but we don’t even know if the prosecution is a legitimate  SPCA prosecution  or even  if  the SPCA is involved

We doubt that the board of the RNZSPCA or  the board of the Auckland SPCA   supported the prosecution   and wish to  have the identity of the prosecuting body   confirmed

I certainly hope that  you do not  condone a prosecution is in the name of a fictional organisation 

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