Open letter to CEO for RNZSPCA will the spca become more transparent and accountable to the public ?

Gabby Clezy New Ceo RNZSPCA replacing Andrea Midgen

Good afternoon Gabby

I am a former police prosecutor and former Private Investigator and have through events become involved in what I call corrupt practices of the RNZSPCA .

On this web site you will find the history of my involvement and the incidents which gave me cause for concern . I note that in the news release https://www.spca.nz/news-and-events/news-article/newceogabby you took on the role as CEO from 5 September

I also note that you are currently Trustee of the Waitemata Community Law Centre and Mentor University of Auckland Business School Women’s Mentoring Programme. I hope that this means that you know a thing or two about company structure and incorporated societies .

I note that the opening statement in the press release makes a very vital misrepresentation it states “The appointment marks the first incoming CEO since the charity’s national amalgamation in 2017, and the first appointment in the role in over seven years.”

I take issue with the word amalgamation . There was an amalgamation of assets but other than that the various entities which existed 7 years go were not amalgamated but rather dissolved .

A good place to start is with the constitution of the RNZSPCA see here as you will see on the final three pages there were nearly 40 branches and 7 member societies . Each had their own board constitution, these organisations were never ” amalgamated ” for more explanation please see my complaint to the minister with regards to revision of the suitability of the RNZSPCA to hold approved status under the animal welfare act see here

When the One SPCA formed former members of the branches and member societies were assured that they could become members of the new incorporated society . The new rules require applications to be made annually and each year the membership lases and requires renewal .

This brings up the question as to who holds the reins how many people are now in control of the organisation which used to be a national organisation supported by many members through its branches and member societies if all the members cease to exist who decides who can be a member ?

My complaint to the minister has resulted in MPI directing the investigation back to the RNZSPCA and it appears to me that Andrea who was in a position to provide answers may have left a gap and questions unanswered .

In my request to the Minister I included a number of official information act request ,I have just received the response MPI , it proves that MPI very much lack oversight of what is happening in the RNZSPCA . see here and the attachments here mou 29 November 2021 and here Systems Audit Team report


The Audit Report in itself raises a number of questions and the response by MPI illustrates the fact that there appears to be no accountability to the public by way of OIA . The following is my further oia to MPI and raises issues in particular with the Wallace Glover matter which has been very badly managed and will prove to be evidence of corrupt practices on the part of RNZSPCA if it is condoned.

my new OIA is as follows

Thank you for  your response  OIA 22-0654  I  note the audit report raises some issues  which  bring about a further request under the OIA    copy to ministers for MPI 

First of all there is no key to abbreviations    and  we need  to know what  the   various abbreviations are   short for  please provide a key to the   audit report which  explains the   abbreviations  

I note that the  audit is for the Royal New Zealand Society for the Protection of Companion Animals (RNZSPCA).

The approved organisation is   Royal New Zealand Society for the Protection of Cruelty to  Animals (RNZSPCA)

If we cannot get the name  right how can we ever sort out the issue that the  RNZSPCA  claims to have  amalgamated  its  branches and member societies  when in reality they have ceased to exist  and a large membership has been replaced by  a small group of  persons  who have  total control of the organisation  and  the     associated statutory powers

Please provide  any documents which  have been provided with regards to the restructure of the RNZSPCA

Could you please provide  copies of the documentation which was referred to for the audit  and provided for this audit   I note that the  Performance and Technical Standards for Inspectors and Auxiliary Officers 2021 released  during the audit which would suggest that the new standards were assessed and   that the audit   has been on the perception relating to   policy as opposed to reality in compliance and practice

Surrender

 “Persons in charge of animals are given 24 hours to consider surrendering an animal and many elect to keep it.”  Against a back drop of threats of prosecution   and  lack of  any transparency this  gives a very good opportunity  for inspectors to obtain   high value  animals   which  do not necessarily find their way back to the SPCA. There  is a need for  proper recording of dogs seized   and  body worn  cameras should be reviewed to ensure that there is no coercion .

This was highlighted in the Wallace Glover  prosecution, it    is  a massive incentive for any one being visited by the SPCA to hand over animals on demand or suffer their fate .   Their dogs  were disposed of  before charges  were filed    and  also puppies were unlawfully  disposed of and MPIs reaction is to  say  get a lawyer.

Please advise what policies  provide  for the  protection of  the public  against an inspector making up  an allegation and using the threat of  prosecution to coerce surrender of an animal  .  

What provision is ther for e  overseeing  the manner in which these  surrenders are being conducted ?    should there be a  review process by the senior inspector  ?  an appeal process ?

OIA

The SPCA is not subject to  the OIA  and   proof of the lack of  compliance with the MOU is the fact that   our request for information resulted in    being advised that the MPI did not hold the information  yet the MOU states “

MPI’s nominated lead will consult with SPCA’s nominated lead in responding to requests under the Official Information Act 1982 that concern information about SPCA. “

With respect to that clause  I ask  that my  OIA is revisited and  any information requested  which is not in the hands of  the MPI is   obtained  from the SPCA through  compliance with that clause.

Please advise by way of OIA  if  with respect to my request  that the prescribed consultation  occurred  or not  and if not why not.

Prosecution  .

 It would appear that the Solicitor-General’s Prosecution Guidelines are being  ignored    and  while there are policies and  MOU’s  no one is   actively  being held accountable to the  requirements of these documents  and there is no  consequence for totally ignoring the requirements.

As such the public have no protection at all   and as  can be seen in the Wallace Glover case   these private prosecutions have been passed off to the court as  being crown prosecution   this effectively means that the organisation with a  few people on its membership   and holding legislative power   also has the ability to use crown solicitors and the crowns   name  contrary to  statutory requirements of the  criminal procedure act .

Please advise if the MPI  Lawyer has been asked to review the  ability of the SPCA  to secure  crown solicitors and represent the  prosecution as a crown prosecution ? this aspect  directly related to accountability to the public  and  the rule of law.  This is   at all time a private prosecution and unless taken on through the proper channels as a crown prosecution   it  does not qualify as a crown prosecution   .

Currently there  is  no requirement  for the SPCA  board to be involved in the    consent  for prosecution, this appears to  fragment the statutory powers   away from the organisation  and totally leave the inspectors in the hands and control of those who  also function as revenue  generators  within the charity .

Taking High value dogs is more lucrative than baking cup cakes  and the  door to corruption is wide open without   accountability to an outside  body.

Search warrants

The audit states 2.7.4.1 Search Warrant Procedure “outlines the grounds for applying for a search warrant, please ensure that a copy  of this is provided .   It must be remembered at all times that his is a private organisation which employs persons   as inspectors  who appear  not to have any  independent   oversight or accountability .

In sharp contrast with this  I was a police officer and then a private Investigator   as a private investigator I had no legislative  powers  only a lot of accountability  , SPCA inspectors   have   coercive powers and apparently no   real oversight  or accountability  and   are believed   by the court due to the position they hold.

Private investigators have high accountability to the private security licencing authority    Please advise if  oversight of   animal welfare inspectors to     a similar statutory body has been considered  and if not why not  .

Exhibits

The dogs which were  taken in the  Wallace Glover matter  are  prime evidence of lack of evidential  chain of evidence.  The Body worn cameras  show the inspectors  declining to  scan the microchips of  the  dogs  and taking unidentified  dogs into  custody . some seized  dogs were later   claimed to be  un microchipped and were microchipped at the  SPCA .  these dogs   were all microchipped   why were they re microchipped  or  was it not  the same dog  and why did some dogs  go to the pound for  two weeks before being seen by a vet  when the claim was that the animal was taken because it was ill .

By way of OIA  could you please advise if the auditor Mr Burke  was aware of this case    and why these factors have not bene included into the audit      as this should be basis for recommendations at the very least  if we cannot    learn  from the past the same doors to corruption  will remain open 

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