accountability

Corruption in New Zealand – Open letter to the minister of Justice

amyadamsGood morning Minister

Last week I made submission to the select committee on the anti corruption and money laundering bill

I note that in the bill we do not define corruption

This makes our anti-corruption initiatives extremely effective as you cannot have something which is not defined.

As such the following are NOT examples of corruption in New Zealand

1. Having a business plan to amalgamate local government duties with those of central government for private pecuniary gain then writing the bill for and advising on legislation to facilitate this
2. Making an application for law enforcement powers under that legislation pretending to be a trust when no trust exists .
3. Deceiving a minister by making false claims so as to get the law enforcement approval
4. Getting law enforcement powers for a fictional body by pretending that it is a legal person when it is not.
5. Operating that Fictional law enforcement body from council premises using the staff vehicle and infrastructure for private pecuniary gain
6. Setting up a pretend trust in 2006 to pretend to be applicant and issuing court action to cover up
7. Deceiving the court through lawyers and denying the defendant a hearing or the right of defence of truth and honest opinion so as to re write history using a court judgement obtained through deceit

Through the journey I have found that we effectively try to Kill off Whistle-blowers , through stress financial hardship and making their life hell on every front as such a simple question of “ why does that law enforcement authority not exist as a legal person ?” has cost me my family , my marriage, nearly 10 years of my life well over $400,000 hard cash and goodness only knows how much in lost earnings.

I took on a lawyer who has since been found by the courts to have been “ incompetent “ he is now suing me because I complained of double billing. I made a complaint about a billing issue 4 years ago , it is still not resolved and instead the lawyer has taken me to court in a series of actions seeking to bankrupt me when he has overcharged me some $28,000.- message- don’t complain about your lawyers double billing – he will sue you and make your life hell .

I am a licenced Private investigator and former long serving police officer , I know a thing or two about fraud and corruption and I know that it is impossible to report fraud and corruption in New Zealand because it damages our clean green image.

I have found the greatest issue to be that lawyers are not held accountable to the rule of law, and crooked lawyers have a licence to use our legislation in the most convoluted manner to cover up fraud and corruption . The law society has conflicting roles of member society and lawyers authority , nothing is going to change until those conflicting roles are separated .

The so called public watchdogs, are under resourced and under staffed by competent personnel and we function be throwing up walls for people to bang their heads up against until they either drop dead or go away.

My matter is well researched, I have a ton of documents, from the government’s own files , No government authority has ever looked at them , they all claim it has been through court and it is therefore settled.

This proves that using the court to conceal fraud and corruption in new Zealand works and makes this even more serious.

I have even gone to the extent of filing a petition for a commission against corruption only to find that Mike Sabin, who was on the wrong side of the law himself , threw it out because my evidence disclosed fraud.

It appears that peoples reputations are paramount, that is their reputations not mine – My crime is to have exposed corruption and I have paid a very high price .
I request that you use my scenario as an investigation into corruption in New Zealand , it proves that it exists at every level and that we would sooner shoot the messenger than deal with the real issue.

Are you the minister who will turn corruption in NZ around ? I hope so for all our sakes
Regards
Grace Haden

Was Mike Sabin’s disposal of the petition for a commission against corruption lawful ?

From: Grace Haden
Sent: Tuesday, 3 February 2015 2:20 p.m.
To: ‘select.committees@parliament.govt.nz’
Cc: ‘jonathan.young@parliament.govt.nz'; ‘lindsay.tisch@parliament.govt.nz'; ‘ian.mckelvie@parliament.govt.nz'; ‘phil.goff@parliament.govt.nz'; ‘Kelvin.Davis@parliament.govt.nz'; ‘david.clendon@parliament.govt.nz'; ‘Mahesh.bindra@parliament.govt.nz'; ‘KanwaljitSingh.Bakshi@parliament.govt.nz'; ‘Andrew Little’
Subject: Petition for a commission against corruption

Good afternoon

Last year Andrew Little presented my petition for a commission against corruption

I am a former police officer and now a private Investigator who has found herself at the fore front of corruption In New Zealand because I believed the spin that NZ was corruption free.

I thought it was the proper thing to do, to draw attention to the fact that a man had written legislation for his own business plan, advised on it at select committee level and then using a false name  applied for the coercive law enforcement powers which he had helped create.

The powers were under the animal welfare act and he claimed that he made an application on behalf of a trust called the Animal welfare Institute of New Zealand(AWINZ ) . The trust was fictional, the minister was misled and no one checked that the Animal welfare institute of New Zealand existed.

In 2006 a lady working at the Waitakere city council dog control unit asked me if I could find out who or what AWINZ was. The council vehicles and the buildings had been rebranded to have the appearance of belonging to AWINZ, the council officers were required to Volunteer their council paid time to AWINZ and prioritize animal welfare over dog control . The prosecutions were performed by the council dog control manager who was one and the same as the person who had written the bill which ultimately became foundation for the law. This was a classic case of public office for private pecuniary gain – which is deemed to be corruption by international standards.

Through my journey with corruption many people have come to me and have told me of the brick walls which they , like me have encountered. The police say they had no time , the SFO say not serious or complex, the ombudsmen took 2 ½ years to get a document then went quite ,the office of the auditor general total ignored it .. IT HAS NEVER BEEN INDEPENDENTLY INVESTIGATED except by the society for promotion of community standards , who confirmed what I had alleged.

In having my petition rejected, I have struck yet another brick wall and again things are done with an appearance of legitimacy but without any real legal foundation and ability.

Mike Sabin rejected the evidence of my petition on the basis of standing order 236 b . this quite clearly states that the evidence is considered to be an irrelevant or unjustified allegation can be expunged. It does not state that all of the evidence can be thrown out and indeed there are various issues raised in my evidence not just that of AWINZ .

236 Irrelevant or unjustified allegations
When a witness gives evidence that contains an allegation that may seriously damage the reputation of a person and the select committee is not satisfied that that evidence is relevant to its proceedings or is satisfied that the evidence creates a risk of harm to that person, which risk exceeds the benefit of the evidence, the committee will give consideration—
(a) to returning any written evidence and requesting that it be resubmitted without the offending material:
(b) to expunging that evidence from any transcript of evidence:
(c) to seeking an order of the House preventing the disclosure of that evidence.

It concerns me that Mike SABIN was so actively involved in the removal of this petition and in light of the events of the last week it is entirely possible that a conflict of interest existed.

Mr SABIN does not state that the allegations are irrelevant or unjustified , and 236 b clearly states “to expunge that evidence from any transcript of evidence “ this does not give open licence to dispose of all of the evidence.

Additionally my evidence does not make it clear that the matter has been” thoroughly investigated” my evidence is that it has never been investigated by the proper authorities .

As a former Police officer Mr Sabin is well versed at writing complaints off but this is a matter before parliament , it needs to be dealt with according to the rules and I do not see that 236(b) can have all the evidence expunged.

Additionally standing Orders have ways of dealing with evidence which could have impact on persons reputation . I have deliberately not named any one however the evidence in support which were obtained from government and council files show who the players are in the game. The Animal welfare institute of New Zealand does not have legal existence hence does not have any legal rights and therefore cannot have a reputation .

It is precisely the use of such fictional personas which makes fraud prevalent in new Zealand , this practice is being condoned and this is exactly why we need a commission against corruption . It is a huge elephant which is being ignored.

I request that the committee review the manner in which this petition has been disposed of and ensure that it was done lawfully if they up hold the decision. I am happy to resubmit eh evidence with names removed if that assists .

Additionally under the OIA I request the names of those who sat on the committee with Mr SABIN and voted on dumping the petition and writing the letter attached above and the minutes pertaining to this .

I will be publishing this letter on www.transparency.net.nz as the public have a right to know .

Regards
Grace Haden
Phone (09) 520 1815
mobile 027 286 8239
visit us at www.transparency.net.nz

Proposed Air Quality Bylaw- Information received from Auckland Council

Last year Auckland council announced a   Proposed Air Quality Bylaw,  this  drew an editorial from the Herald  and concerns from us and others as to where the facts and figures came from.  Bernard Orsman also did a article  entitled “City plan spells end for old flames” and  “Plan to ban open fireplaces affects thousands of homes

the committee is due to meet in  February  on their web site the council provides  the governing body report  and an article about managing Auckland’s air quality .

the questions we asked were

1) All research which has been conducted into this matter – showing location and time frames over which this has been monitored.

Their response :The Herald article mentions the number of households that would be affected by any proposed ban of older wood burners and open fires.The information on total number of households using wood for home heating was taken from the 2013 census. The proportion of wood burners using old wood burners (pre 2005) and open fires was then calculated using information from the 2012 Auckland Council Heating Survey (attached).1. 2012 Auckland Council Home heating survey result   

Our response :in the report the  word assume features 14 times  and “estimate”  64 times , they conducted the survey based on responses and not actual  emission readings . the data was obtained from

 

surveyIn terms of % this is what they surveyed

survey percent

 

 

 

 

 

this is the area they surveyed survey area

Now   just by applying logic   you will find more people in the rural areas using open fires  than in the central city .

In total just over  half a percent  was surveyed   of which 50%  lived outside the isthmus area.

The isthmus area has the greatest population  and  has greater pollution from other sources eg. vehicles

It is of note that there appear to  be  actual measurements and  pollution readings.

 

2) Evidence that the domestic fire places are to blame for deaths in Auckland as implied by Councillor Darby.

Their response :The Herald article also mentioned the number of people affected in Auckland by discharges of fine particulate (or PM10) from domestic home heating information. The number of people affected by PM10 from domestic home heating was taken from the evidence of the health effects of indoor fires as well as all other sources of PM10 emissions can be found in the following the independent report: “Updated Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand Study 2012 ” this report will also answer questions 6 and 7.

HAPINZ_Update_Vol_1_Summary_Report

Our response : The word assume   appears 31 times  in this document  and Estimate 141 times.

“The authors estimated that air pollution from all sources in New Zealand was responsible for approximately 1,400 premature deaths per year, of which 1,100 premature deaths were attributed to anthropogenic (human-caused) sources” this statement could easily cover  deaths from smoking .There  appears to be no evidence that  wood fires  are responsible for or contribute to these deaths 2.1  discusses these issues along with “sources such as burning coal, oil, wood, petrol and diesel in domestic fires, motor vehicles and industrial processes”

HAPINZ_Update_Vol_2_Technical_Report

Our response : The word assume   appears 34 times  in this document  and Estimate 132 times It appears that this report relates to  NZ generally and not to the specific issues of wood burning in Auckland . Health figures are also  not available for Auckland. Christchurch and Auckland have vastly different  demographics  and the  issues and problems there cannot be applied to Auckland. 

3) Research which shows that fireplaces since 2005 emit less particles than those prior to 2005, please supply details of makes and models.

Their response :The New Zealand Government introduced the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (AQNES) in 2004. The regulation set national standards for air quality and introduced the new design standard for wood burners; they had to meet new emission and efficiency standards from 2005 (discharge less than 1.5gm/kg of particle for each kilogram of wood burnt and have a thermal efficiency of not less than 65 per cent). The AQNES required all models of wood burners sold to be tested to ensure they meet these standards, a list of wood burners that meeting the standards is kept on the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) website. (see attached National Environmental Standards for Air Quality)
Prior to the AQNES there was no national standards for the emission levels or thermal efficiency, however some testing has been carried out on older wood burners. (see attached Real Life Emissions Testing of Pre 1994 Woodburners in New Zealand)

Our response :  So why the 2005  cut off when quite clearly some pre 2005 wood burners are  complaint   why not  place a specification on  types.  11 years passed  between  1994 and 2005  and those  who installed their wood burners  in the early 2000’s  may well have compliant   burners.

4) Comparisons of fine particle pollution in Auckland to other cities, at what height does it occur, how long does it linger or disperse, is our isthmus location an attribute which makes air linger?

Their response :The council does not keep records of air quality monitoring undertaken in other areas of New Zealand. However a summary of all ambient air quality monitoring undertaken in New Zealand can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website.

Whilst other cities in New Zealand such as Christchurch and Rotorua have more incidences of air pollution caused by fine particulates (PM10) the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004 requires all regional councils to meet the limits on the number of exceedances of the PM10 standard as specified in the regulations. Areas such as Christchurch and Rotorua have a higher level of historical exceedances of the PM10 standard and have more time than Auckland to meet the requirements of the regulations.

The monitoring undertaken in Auckland is done using fixed monitoring sites that sample the air close to the ground; they measures the air that people are exposed to and breathe. Exceedances of the PM10 standards in Auckland and other areas occurs during periods of cold and calm weather during winter when the pollution from domestic fires collects under temperature inversions caused by the conditions.

Being particulate matter the time it takes for PM10 to settle out will depend on climatic conditions such as wind speed and direction. On very still evenings it is likely that PM10 will remain near the fires that produce the particulate. Exceedances of the PM10 standard in the last 5 years have been found at monitoring stations in Takapuna, Pakuranga and Khyber Pass.

9. Exceedences to Date Auckland Council 2005-2012.

Our response : the spread sheet actually mentions   how long and why these limits were exceeded  at the time – House fires  etc, the exceedence is minimal considering the circumstances.

5) Consideration to existing usage rights, traditional .. going back to the year dot.

Their response :There are no existing use right for any fire if it causes a health nuisance because of large levels of particulate emissions. The AQNES allows councils to make bylaws that are more stringent than the regulations.

Our response : But why make  by laws when they are not requires and will not have any impact on the problem  you are trying to solve or a problem which does not exist.

6) The dangers of open fire/ firebox pollution as opposed to industrial, vehicle pollution and cigarette smoking.

Their response :The Updated Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand Study (HAPINZ) (attached) looked at health effects and included a number of New Zealand and overseas studies on health effect from fine particulate. There are a number of studies that have looked at health effects from wood smoke compared to other combustion particles i.e. vehicles, cigarettes smoke etc.
(Air pollution combustion emissions: Characterization of causative agents and mechanisms associated with cancer, reproductive, and cardiovascular effects, Woodsmoke Health Effects: A Review, first published in Inhalation Toxicology 2007)

Our response : But how does this relate to Auckland????

7) Who conducted the research, how was it verified, which standards were applied.

Their response :The HAPINZ report was undertaken on behalf of the Health Research Council of New Zealand, Ministry of Transport, Ministry for the Environment, NZ Transport Agency and was based on Epidemiology studies similar to that used to determine the effects of cigarette smoke. If you have any question about this study please contact the authors of the HAPINZ report.

The following reports have been used as to support the proposed Air Quality Bylaw. These are also attached to this response for your reference.
2012 Home Heating Survey Results (TR 2013/011), April 2013as above

• Census output – wood use in Auckland 2001 to 2013 stats

 
• Statement of Proposal – Introduction to the Air Quality Bylaw 3. StatementofProposal introduction of the air qua

It would appear from this  docuemtn that the cause of our  pollution is not from domestic   fires, but we guess its easier target the rate payers and residents that the industrial sector.

• Updated Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand Study – March 2012, volumes 1 and 2.as discussed above

• National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (Update June 2011)4. National Environmental Standards for Air Qualit
this is the statute .  there is no evidence that we  do not  comply with statute . ther is a design standard referd to in  the statute at   (23) , the statute states that these   wood burners should not be installed after  1 September 2005  it does not  say they need to be removed.

• Domestic Fire Emissions 2012: Options for Meeting the National Environmental Standard for PM10. (TR 2013/022)5. domesticfireemissions2012optionsformeetingnatio

this document states  “Domestic fires are a major source of particulate in the Auckland region, contributing to 41 per cent of total annual PM10 emissions and 43 per cent of PM2.5 emissions in 2011 (Auckland Council, 2012a). Levels are even higher during winter, with domestic fires accounting for 70 per cent of daily PM10 and PM2.5 emissions on a typical winter’s day. The annual social cost of health effects associated with domestic fire pollution is estimated at $411 million for the Auckland region ($NZ as at June 2010, Kuschel et al., 2012).”   What we are looking for is the evidence upon which that statement is made.

• Air Quality Domestic Options – Cost Benefit Analysis 2012 (TR 2013/0X29)6. airqualitydomesticoptionscostbenefitanalysis201 the word assumption  appears 24 times in this 44 page document and Estimate  27 time.  there is no  REAL data. There is no analysis of what is in the  air specific to Auckland

Real Life Emissions Testing of Pre 1994 Woodburners in New Zealand this is pre 1994   there is no evidence that wood burners 1994-2005   are non compliant .

• Clean Healthy Air for All New Zealanders: The National Air Quality Compliance Strategy to Meet the PM10 Standard, MfE, 1 August 2011.Download PDF (945 KB) Ministerial document setting he limits for  air pollution, we have  so far not seen any evidence that Auckland exceeds these limits

• Exceedances to data: Auckland Council 2005 – 2012  as discussed above   the excrescences are due to exception circumstances

• Woodsmoke Health Effects: A Review, first published in Inhalation Toxicology 2007 10. Wood Smoke Health Effects A review first publi  this is a document  wEstimate 28 times  there si no REAL  data hich  speaks of the  dangers of air pollution , we do not  dispute that, we  want to  see factual evidence that there is  air polution n Auckland caused by  wood burners.

• Air pollution combustion emissions: Characterization of causative agents and mechanisms associated with cancer, reproductive, and cardiovascular effects 11. Air pollution combustion emissions (health).pd this is a document  which  speaks of the  dangers of air pollution , we do not  dispute that, we  want to  see factual evidence that there is  air polution n Auckland caused by  wood burners.

• ARC – estimation of Domestic Fire Emissions in 2006.12. ARC Estimation_of domestic_woodburner_emission note the word estimate  appears in this 59 page document 138 times.  it even appears an additional time in  the  title The word assume or derivatives there of appears 105 times –   Our question   How factual is a document based on estimates and assumptions ?

User Guide NES Air Quality

ARC_SA_Presentation_GNS_9_May_2008  If this report was an  account it would be thrown  out due to  its data being over 7 years old , the cover photo loos  suspiciously like morning  fog  as opposed to pollution.

Its time to sort out the confusion with regards to law firms.

The law society have a statutory duty to deal with two groups of persons – lawyers and incorporated law firms .

The  first one  is seemingly straight forward a lawyer  gets a practicing certificate and is for that year a lawyer and is  placed on the law societies register .

The law society  also provides a page called “Find a Lawyer or Organisation” and by entering a name onto that   search field and selecting “organisation”    names come up.

Basic logic would have  you think that the “organisations’ would be incorporated law firms   but that is not  so.  The reality is that the  organisation search is grossly deceptive,  to such an extent that even  the staff administering the  register cannot tell you if  these ” organisations “are  incorporated law firms or not.

An incorporated law firm  is defined as

incorporated law firm means, subject to sections 15 and 16, a company that—(a) provides to the public services that are, in relation to a lawyer, regulated services; and(b) has as its directors no persons other than lawyers who are actively involved in the provision by the body corporate of regulated services; and(c) has as its shareholders, in respect of shares that confer voting rights, no persons other than—(i) lawyers of the kind described in paragraph (b); or(ii) persons who are administrators of the estates of persons who, at the time of their death, were lawyers of the kind described in paragraph (b); and(d) has as its shareholders, in respect of shares that do not confer voting rights, no persons other than—(i) lawyers of the kind described in paragraph (b) (any 1 or more or each of whom may, but none of whom is required to, hold those shares as a trustee of a qualifying trust); or(ii) persons who are relatives of lawyers of the kind described in paragraph (b); or(iii) persons who are administrators of the estates of persons who, at the time of their death, were shareholders of the kind described in subparagraph (i) or subparagraph (ii)

the act then  goes on to relies on  section 21 Provision of legal services  for the protection of legal services  and states

 (1) A person commits an offence who, not being a lawyer or an incorporated law firm,—(a) provides legal services in New Zealand; and(b) describes himself, herself, or itself as—(i) a lawyer; or(ii) a law practitioner; or(iii) a legal practitioner; or(iv) a barrister; or(v) a solicitor; or(vi) a barrister and solicitor; or(vii) an attorney-at-law; or(viii) counsel.

So does this mean that a  firm  which is not a law firm  does not commit an offence if it provides legal services and

  1. cannot be identified as a person
  2.  does not call itself  lawyer, barrister  etc  as above.

section 22   Misleading descriptions

It is clear that this section  is there for non lawyers  who hold themselves out to be lawyers   but  what if a  lawyer is holding a  fictional company out to be a law firm. –    section  23 does not   give much support, it appears to exonerate actions as long as  there is a lawyer  involved somewhere in the process.

But  Lawyers have rules too  , they are enforced  more or less through the law society . However the law society is frequently  conflicted in their  roles of  membership organisation and a disciplinary body.

It is  after all lawyers controlling their own  and   this   too of deception  has been  part of a lawyers artillery for  centuries  so why should they   give away a tool of deception  ? It suits lawyers and the law society to be vague about law firms  as this way  they preserve their  fidelity fund  as no one  can bring a claim against a fictional law firm.

The rules of conduct are  found here You may be wondering why  we have brought this issue up   .. well it is for very good reason   it   is one of those  twisty  nasty tings which makes lawyers always right and you always wrong..    In our opinion it is  Identity  deception/fraud.

Our director  engages a lawyer  .. she met  him in what she  believed to be the offices of his law firm  Equity law Barristers Limited  , he sends away a staff member to complete the contract and a contract emerges in the name of Equity law Chambers .

The law practice is  referred to as Equity law regularly in  correspondence and the current  web page at the time  shows  the  People involved with what is referred to as Equity law.

Equity Law barristers  Limited started its life as Equity law 2007 limited.  there are no other companies on the  companies register  which  bear the name “equity law ”  and the company now known as Equity law barristers is shown as having been  co  directed by the   the  lawyers  wife    and she also held 50% shareholding of the company   up until 16 November 2011  this  means that by the legal definition of  Incorporated law firm  equity law barristers was not and could not have been an incorporated law firm at the time when  it agreed , under a trading name to provide me with legal services.

The agreement was that  Barristers from within the chambers  supervised by the head of chambers, were to do the work . However the staff who worked on my matter were generally  new graduates who  had neither been admitted to the bar  and therefore did not have a practicing certificate ( you will also find that the law society  claims  privacy  when you ask   who had a practicing certificate  when )

Inquiries with the law society   have complicated matters further , they   tell me that Equity law barristers limited  was an ” an incorporated barristers practice ” from November 2008  they will not go so far as to say  if it was incorporated law firm  and they will not say  on what basis  it is an incorporated law firm. – vagueness is protecting their fidelity fund.

On the other hand the court is very strict on identities   a company is a separate legal  identity from a person   but here were have a situation where a company is using a trading name  and the director  has now claimed the trading name  as his  own. The law society  in their wisdom made a decision  naming the   director  of Equity law barristers limited and  told him to reduce his invoices  and refund our director.  However   he refused  we now have a gigantic mess where by  the  incorporated  barristers firm may not have been an incorporated law firm  and could not have provided  andy legal services, but because there was a lawyer  hanging about in the side office it is not an offence.

Another point of interest with this law firm  is that  the   shareholder   and other director the  Lawyers common law wife  appears to have had her signature forged. But that wont matter either they will have some explanation for that like a   sprained wrist .

It appears that the law applies strictly to us and loosely to lawyers .. that has to change.

This brings about massive identity issues and made us focus on the organizations which the  law society lists.

Many of the  ” law firms ”   are  just trading names, unidentified trading names

some of the limited liability companies  listed  do  not qualify as  Incorporated law firms  because of the share holding issue.

Solicitors trust accounts which  do have lawyers as directors and share holders  are not  incorporated law firms  but  would  qualify on face value as such .

This  whole area is a  massive deception

Stewart & Associates Equity Law  still appears on the   ” organisation  list”  it is neither a company nor is it a firm as it only has one employee a  lawyer who is not capable due to her lack of seniority to practice on her own account.

Also look at Brookfields  and Brookfields – Wellington branch  , who is it a trading name for  ? it could be any of these  or none.

It is time that the law society   tidied up their  ” find a lawyer  data base.  we the public should be able to go to the database and identify   the law firms  and  the lawyers practicing  in their own name.

 

Auckland Council Rates.. does the law apply to Council as it does to you ? part 2

Yesterday we discussed the ability  for council to   charge penalties on  installments  today we take it a step further – what legal right do they have to charge  penalties on GST which they are collecting for the  government ?   We believe that they don’t have any right to do this at all  below is  how we come to  that.

Taking a rates notice which we have here for example
The rates for the financial year 2014-15 are $4510.81 this has a content of $588.36 GST
The current instalment is $1127 and has a  GST content of  $147

The rates notice states

Pay on time to avoid penalties

“‘ It pays to pay your rates on time, as you will be charged a 10 per cent penalty on any part of your current instalment that is overdue.

You will also be charged a 10 per cent penalty on any part of your rates (and penalties from previous years) that have not been paid by 5 July, and again by 5 January, of the current financial year. Any payments that you make towards your rates will be credited towards the oldest amount due first”

The operative words are  any part of your rates.  The Gst is the GST  portion of your rates. The rates  is what is set and  what the GST is payable on .

The the act states penalties Must not exceed 10%   therefore they can only charge  a penalty of 10% on the rates  being 1127-147, the penalty on the rates to be lawful can only be 10% of $980  being $98 .

By charging penalty of $112.70 they are  charging a penalty rate of greater than 10% (11.5% in this case )  which is   and $14.70 over charge  per instalment  and  not  made lawfully .

This is of course  also subject to   the ability  for council to  charge penalties on   instalments as discussed previously

If council can only charge penalties once the years rates are due  being 30 June 2015  then   by imposing  penalties on rates which are inclusive of  GST  ,they will be collecting a further  $58.80  per year ( presuming that you then pay  just prior to  the 30th June )*

Strangely enough  this  sum is more than  the sum which they  give you for early payment .

Where this really gets tricky  is in compounding penalties on the  Gst  of previous payments/ years .

Then there is also the question is GST Payable on the  penalty  or  is GST Payable only on the rates portion ?

We will put that  to council to work out, they have an obligation to us after all to be open transparent and accountable  and presumably that is why we pay crazy high wages to those at the top so that this  kind of thing does not happen ???

 

*based on  instalments being  29 August 2014,26 November 2014, 26 February 2015,27 May 2015 note that   even by instalments  all rates due are paid a month  early .

Transparency International Finally uses the C word

launderwideTransparency International New Zealand has tried so hard to ignore the corruption in New Zealand  but has finally  conceded that    we have it.  In their latest news letter they mention  no less than three items .

New Zealand Shell Companies Involved in Huge Money-laundering Operation

New Zealand shell companies may have played a part in the biggest money-laundering operation in Eastern Europe. A recent investigation by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) exposed an enormous US$20 billion ($24.4 billion) transfer of dirty Russian funds, dubbed ‘the Laundromat’. Read the story by Richard Meadows in stuff.co.nz.

Evidence of corruption a National scandal – Harre

Internet Party leader Laila Harre will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political gain

Money, politics and scandal in New Zealand’s election

Post election, Washington based Lisa Rosenburg of the Sunlight Foundation, and former legislative assistant to Senator John Kerry, suggested that New Zealand will need to address weaknesses in its political finance system to retain “its squeaky clean reputation and its first place as the least corrupt nation…” sunlightfoundation.com/money-politics-and-scandal-in-new-zealands-election

On the  subject first  item  New Zealand Shell Companies Involved in Huge Money-laundering Operation . we reported exactly that last year  and published these articles   International fraud connection with Equity Law and  News Flash EQUITY TRUST solicits new clients

The article by Richard Meadow refers to web site Naked Capitalism.  In a recent article   on that  site  Richard Smith   states

GT Group was linked to the biggest money-laundering operation in US history.

It does not  take much searching to  find that a variety of   GT group companies  which survived being struck off  have found  a new registered office at  the EQUITY GROUP , others have been registered  again using the names of the struck off companies as shown below.

Companies registered to the premises of Equity group  frequently use the very same  directors  identified as  proxy directors  in  international press   . In this case we look at Leah Toureleo  of  B.p. 1487, 1 Port Vila, Pot 540208, Port Vila , Vanuatu  who is as is mentioned in the  Richard meadows story NZ firm named in huge European scam

Leah Toureleo has the following  active companies

PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL GROUP CO., LIMITED (3934638) Registered Company
Leah Toureleo appointed as a director on 27 Jul 2012 overseas registered company   about to be struck off the address 24b Moorefield Road

Seems to be another busy little  office   it is a medical center  see this interesting post  http://www.blakjak.net/node/1312

 

GOLDAGE GROUP CO., LIMITED (3934658) Registered Company
Leah Toureleo appointed as a director on 27 Jul 2012   overseas registered company   about to be struck off reg office Room 4, 221a Dominion Road, Auckland, only two companies registered here and both about to  be struck off

 

IRVINESTON LIMITED (3239028) Registered Company
Leah Toureleo appointed as a director on 14 Nov 2013 Registered Office
TROPIC ALLIANCE LIMITED, 7 Rose Road, for more on this address see naked capitalism

DORNOCK LIMITED (3239007) Registered Company
Leah Toureleo appointed as a director on 14 Nov 2013 Registered Office
TROPIC ALLIANCE LIMITED, 7 Rose Road,

the director   of tropic alliance  lives in Inga 9a-31 Zaubes, Riga, LV1013 , Latvia

Now these next four companies have something in common they all had  the receptionist at Equity law barristers as their  director , she resigned last year when she was warned her about  the dangers of being a proxy director ( see news links  below )   these companies   continue to exist with Leah Toureleo as  their director

WELKIN BUSINESS LIMITED (3665631) Registered Company
Leah Toureleo  appointed as a director on 29 Mar 2013 owned by Trust NZ holdings   –  director  xxxxxxx

SELBY LIMITED (3665671) Registered Company
Leah Toureleo  appointed as a director on 29 Mar 2013 owned by Trust NZ holdings   –  director  xxxxxxx

This is a phoenix company  of  SELBY LIMITED(2466848) (NZBN: 9429031562881) Struck off NZ Limited Company it was  registered to 1504 B, 363 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand which was pat of  the Taylor group.  the new company was incorporated  by EQUITY TRUST INTERNATIONAL LIMITED just a few months after the  companies office struck the other off

4-WAY LOGISTICS LIMITED (3589351) Registered Company
Leah Toureleo  appointed as a director on 29 Mar 2013 owned by Trust NZ holdings   –  director xxxxxxx

MAXIMUS CORPORATION LIMITED (3589616) Registered Company
Leah Toureleo  appointed as a director on 29 Mar 2013  owned by Club property (xxxxx)  this company is a phoenix  company for

MAXIMUS CORPORATION LIMITED (2454570) (NZBN: 9429031578738) Struck off NZ Limited Company Level 4, 44 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton, Auckland, 1023, New Zealand,  this company was  originally set up by the Gt Group

The receptionist had one further  company  that she was director of this company  now has Alice Marjorie Stewart , wife of the  director of EQUITY TRUST INTERNATIONAL LIMITED  Greg Stewart   who is the  lawyer providing the proxy director for  Equity law and taking the legal action for his client/associate to  stop us from  exposing the truth .  this company is Eurostone Holdings Limited

for News   items on   Glenn Smith  69 Ridge Road, Lucas Heights, North Shore  ( Company Net ) see

Web of intrigue – crime – national | Stuff.co.nz

New Zealand as a rogue financial state

NZ shell companies in Kyrgyz corruption | Stuff.co.nz

New Zealand, Fresh From Its Service to Mexican Drug Lords

Complaint – Securities and Exchange Commission

Traseks Ltd., is a corporation incorporated under the laws ofPanama on
February 9, 2009, with its principal place of business located at 69 Ridge Road, Albany,
Auckland, New Zealand. Traseks, Ltd. received $976,302, wired during April through
July 2009 from Rockford’s Bank ofAmerica and Banco Popular Bank Accountsto an
account in its name at JSC Multibanka in Riga, Latvia.

Reserve Bank warns public – money – business | Stuff.co.nz

RBNZ warns on dodgy ‘Bancorp’ pyramid scheme claiming

Reserve Bank warns public – Stuff

1766 defunct New Zealand companies at 69, Ridge Road, Albany,

News items  re proxy directors and activities of companies  of  Leah Toureleo  see below and  at this link click here

Sep 2, 2010 Lu Zhang, 28, is accused of 75 offences of making false statements in company registration forms after she declared her office address was her …
www.stuff.co.nz/…/Company-director-with-alleged-arms-links-in-court
Sep 3, 2010 Lu Zhang, 28, is charged with 75 counts of making false statements in company registration forms – by the seemingly minor act of declaring her …
www.stuff.co.nz/national/4090241/Mystery-arms-firm-director-revealed
May 29, 2011 Lu Zhang, below, is its director. launder2 . launder3. Stella Port-Louis, of the Seychelles, is director of four Queen St companies linked to illegal …
www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/…/Web-of-intrigue
Jan 11, 2010 The signature over it has no resemblance to the signature of Lu Zhang in the New Zealand incorporation documents. The cost of the charter is …
www.stuff.co.nz/national/3218894/Papers-confirm-arms-going-to-Iran
Nov 5, 2010 Former fast-food worker Lu Zhang, 28, was the sole director of Queen St registered SP Trading Ltd, a company that hired a plane discovered at …
www.stuff.co.nz/dominion…/Chinese-warning-on-court-case-angers-judge
Feb 13, 2010 Police National Headquarters in Wellington said it was still investigating SP but would not discuss individuals, including Lu Zhang.
www.stuff.co.nz/business/3323439/Change-of-director-for-shell-company
Oct 20, 2010 SP Trading former director Lu Zhang was later charged with 75 counts of making false statements in company registration forms, and appeared …
www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/…/NZ-a-target-for-arms-traders-Oxfam
Jan 15, 2010 SP’s director is Lu Zhang whose registered residential address is 369 Queen … that on December 21 detectives here interviewed Lu Zhang.
www.stuff.co.nz/national/3231635/Police-given-details-of-arms-flight-client
Feb 12, 2010 Police National Headquarters in Wellington said they were still investigating SP but would not discuss individuals including Lu Zhang.
www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/3318708/Thailand-drops-gun-running-charges
Jan 13, 2010 SP Trading Ltd – formed last year with a woman, Lu Zhang, who cannot be located, as its director – is part of a web of hundreds of companies …
www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/…/Director-breach-punishable-by-jail

Vault Compliance Systems- where is its registered office ?

I have just been alclear watererted  to a post   on Kiwis first  entitled  International Players

The article is  about Suzanne Snively and Victor Cattermole

Susan Snively  of transparency International fame is  the chair person of  Vault compliance systems .

She  works along side  Victor Cattermole sole director and share holder of the company.

Thomas Victor Henry Ronald CATTERMOLE
382 Wairakei Road, Burnside, Christchurch, 8053 , New Zealand

According to Whale Oil Victor Cattermole is one such dodgy ratbag standing for public office. Amongst other things he has been censured by Securities  and Commerce Commissions for running a (likely) ponzi scheme.

Despite this  the company registered to 3/38 Clearwater Drive, Belfast, Christchurch, 8011 , New Zealand   gives its address   on the web site as Level 19, Two International Finance Centre,8 Finance Street,Central, Hong Kong .

This is also the address   for http://suisseinternationalgroup.com/contact/

I personally find that funny as Suzanne used to work for Jarden and co which became credit Suisse.

It would appear that   Clearwater Avenue is a new development on the golf club  Zoodle is the only   site which locates it , we still need to check it out  perhaps Suzanne  can help us out on this one.

It is not clear where  Mr Cattermole, who uses both Victor and Thomas as his first name , lives  as  the company records on 5 August show him using the  address of 25 Northcote Road,Northcote Christchurch 8052 which is the address he used as Thomas Cattermole on the vault shareholder application  form   but  at the same time as Director Thomas victor Henry Ronald Catermole and using the same signature claimed to live at 382 Wairakei Road, Burnside,vault compliance

I find this   all very confusing   Suzanne   do you work from Hong Kong  or do you work from Christchurch.

what is the registered office of   the  company  and who exactly  works  in Hong Kong.

And what about the transparency of  your business partner   what standards  do you have  .. what can we expect?

TINZ Integirty systems in question

LochinvarTransparency international New Zealand was funded by the  government  to  do an integrity report on our public service.

We  found that the finding  that we  had  ” the least corrupt public sector ” came about   due to a number of factors.

  1. Corruption was not defined or looked at – due to the assumption that  as”the least corrupt country ” we must be doing things right .
  2. Transparency Internationals New Zealand  itself having  given NZ the status of being  perceived to be the least corrupt so as to encourage business growth in NZ
  3. Transparency International New Zealand funded by government departments

see  correspondence with the minister Judith Collins  Please provide the evidence to support that New Zealand is the least corrupt country in the world.

and the response from  the companies office

the  following is  a news  release

We repeatedly hear that Shanghai Pengxin has purchased land in New Zealand previously the Crafar farms and now poised to buy the Lochinver Station.

It is time that we got our facts right as to who actually owns the property and just a tiny bit of research brings massive concerns.

There is no company in New Zealand called Shanghai Pengxin and no land in New Zealand owned by a company of that name

There is however an entity called PENGXIN NEW ZEALAND FARM GROUP LIMITED which owns some 76 titles according to Terranet .

PENGXIN NEW ZEALAND FARM GROUP LIMITED has one director, Chinese billionaire Zhaobai JIANG, the company’s sole shareholder is MILK NEW ZEALAND HOLDING LIMITED which in turn is also directed by Mr Jiang.

But look at the shareholding of MILK NEW ZEALAND HOLDING LIMITED and it is allegedly owned by Milk New Zealand Investment Limited Suite 1, 139 Vincent Street, Auckland Central.

Strangely enough Milk New Zealand investment does not exist on the New Zealand company register.

The question is how can a non-existent company make an application to be a shareholder?

According to the lawyers for the company’s registrar takes applications on face value, this is the reality of the integrity systems which Transparency New Zealand reported on recently .

It was these very same integrity systems which Judith Collins attributed to New Zealand being perceived as the least corrupt.

If we don’t look we don’t see
If we don’t define it we cannot have it

Will there be an enquiry into the company structure of PENGXIN NEW ZEALAND FARM GROUP LIMITED ?

Grace Haden Independent candidate for Epsom.

see anticorruption.co.nz

Open letter to Mr Key – will you condone corruption?

corruptionOpen letter to Prime Minister.

I refer to the cabinet manual 2.53

“In all these roles and at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards.

Ultimately, Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.”

In 2001 the then minister of Agriculture, Jim Sutton gave approval for the Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand to become an approved organisation under the animal welfare act 1999.

Section 122 of the act requires that the minister must be satisfied “by the production to the Minister of suitable evidence” that the “organisation “complied with the criteria as set out in sections 122 (1) (a) – (e).

It has transpired that the Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand (AWINZ) had no legal existence, It had no members, structure or existence beyond that of only one man. There was no Organisation, no body of persons had held a meeting or made a decision to make an application for the coercive law enforcement powers.

I have over the years made a number of OIA requests from the MPI and have conclusively established that.
1. The application for approved status for the Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand was fraudulent

a. Mr Neil Wells made the application on behalf of an alleged trust knowing that no trust existed .
b. The statement with regards to the trust having been formed by way of trust deed was false and known to be false by Mr Wells a statement he was to attempt to retrospectively cover up in 2006.
c. The persons named as the alleged trustees had never formally met together as a trust, signed a trust deed, or discussed the application for approved status under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
d. Section 10 of the application, the institute’s compliance with section 122, sought to mislead and deceive the minister as an organisation which does not exist cannot comply with the criteria.

2. The minister relied on MAF advising him with regards to the trust deed, the reality was that there was no trust deed and no signed deed was ever considered or sighted. This ensured that the ministry staff evaluated the application on a worthless and meaningless document which had not been consented or agreed to by any persons.

3. Mr Neil Edward Wells who had appointed himself as Manager (10.4 of the application) was the former Head of the RNZSPCA, in 1996 he wrote a business plan for his own personal ambition to integrate council’s dog and stock control with Animal welfare which was a central government concern. He called the service Territorial animal welfare service .

4. Mr Wells was well connected with the MPI (MAF at the time) and through this and his party connections (Labour) came to write the No 1 Bill for the new animal welfare legislation this bill was written with his personal business aspirations in mind.

5. Mr Wells served as an Independent Specialist Adviser to the Primary Production Select Committee during the consideration stages of the Bills but no record has ever been located of any declaration of his conflict of interest.

6. During 2000 Mr Wells and his associate Tom Didovich provided the minister and the ministry with information which appeared to be legitimate, however neither the minister not the ministry verified

a. The legal status or existence of AWINZ

b. The consent and knowledge of Waitakere council in providing funding, staff resources and infrastructure for the venture.

c. The knowledge and consent for the alleged trustees named on the fraudulent application

7. Records show that the policy advisors for the ministry of Agriculture were opposed to the granting of the application despite having previously assisted Mr Wells. MAF officials had voiced their concerns with regards to Mr Wells’s undeclared conflict of interest.

8. Consent was finally given after the application went to the labour caucus after Neil Wells was able to comment on and amend the caucus papers and allegedly briefed his former work colleague, Bob Harvey who at the time was the president of the labour party and Mayor of Waitakere City Council.

9. In 2006 as a result of an enquiry from a Waitakere dog control officer I established conclusively that

a. There was no legal person by the name of the Animal Welfare institute of New Zealand
b. Neither MAF nor Waitakere council who both contracted to AWINZ held a signed trust deed.
c. The law enforcement authority AWINZ was not identifiable.

10. Despite AWINZ not existing the then Minister of Agriculture Jim Anderton did not consider that AWINZ no longer complied with section 122 and did not revoke the approved status, he too was deceived as to the existence of AWINZ due to a group of persons posing as AWINZ and despite lacking evidence claiming to be the law enforcement authority . These persons were Tom Didovich, Neil Wells, Graeme Coutts and Wyn Hoadley. Not one of these persons (other than Wells) had been a party to the application process or consented to it.

11. This deception continued through the next minister’s term off office and David Carter was similarly deceived.

12. In a series Official information act requests I have established that MPI do not know who the legal persons were who represented the law enforcement authority and it would appear from the latest response ,that they did nothing to investigate the consequences of having a fictional law enforcement authority .

I have recently discovered submissions by Mr Wells for the Animal Welfare Amendment Act , curiously he does not mention his involvement with AWINZ at all  but in these he points out the seriousness of this situation by pointing out that New Zealand is only one of two countries to have a private law enforcement authority (the other is Australia).

Mr Wells in his submissions states “Legal commentators maintain that the enforcement and prosecution of criminal law (animal welfare offences are crimes) are the responsibility of the state and not private organisations that have no public accountability.

He goes on to state “There are (in NZ) three types of enforcement and prosecuting authorities — the Police, the Ministry for Primary Industry, and approved organisations. “

And “MPI does not have the resources to be able to deliver national enforcement and prosecution services on its own for all animal welfare complaints and is totally dependent on approved organisations. This creates an enormous risk for government.”

AWINZ was an approved organisation yet it did not exist, no one knew who comprised it, ran it, apart from Mr Wells who was not given law enforcement powers in his own name but obtained it fraudulently in a fictional name and then acted on behalf of that fictional body.

The act, section 122, requires that the Minister must be satisfied – by the production to the Minister of suitable evidence – before declaring an organisation to be an approved organisation for the purposes of the Act.

For the decision of several Ministers to have been lawful evidence must exist which shows

1. Who the legal persons were who applied for the law enforcement powers and
2. The legal basis upon which the ministers granted law enforcement powers to a trading name for person or persons unknown and had belief that there was accountability to the public.

If that evidence does not exist then there is another option and that is that successive ministers were deceived.

If this is the case the government has two options

1. To condone fraudulent applications to the crown for law enforcement authority or
2. Instigate a full ministerial enquiry into the matter and hold all those who played a part in the deception accountable to the full force of the law.

The current Minister, Nathan Guy appears to have distanced himself from this matter despite repeated requests for him to conduct a ministerial enquiry into this deception. Every request I write to him is routinely handed over to the MPI. The MPI do not hold the evidence and quite clearly under the act it is for the minister to be in possession of the suitable evidence which satisfies him, it is therefore clear that if there is any evidence as to the legitimacy of the application of AWINZ and the existence of AWINZ then it must be held by the minister.

If the minister does not hold that information then the minister cannot condone a fraudulent act of this magnitude. It is also not a responsible action just to ignore the issue. (Ignorance of the law is no excuse Crimes act 1961)

Fraud is a crime and obtaining law enforcement powers for one of only two approved organisations is serious, it is even more serious when the law was enforced through this fraud and I have evidence that it was.

I did not intend to be a Whistle blower, I simply raised issues which I believed were in the public interest to raise in what was reported to be the world’s least corrupt country. I asked

1. Why did the minister give law enforcement powers to a fictional organisation
2. Why was the manager of a council dog and stock control unit contracting to himself in a fictional name

Those two questions have devastated my life and that of my family, I have had a total cold shoulder from the government for 8 years now. I have been treated like the villain in a tactic which I now recognise as classic Darvo where the roles of villain and victim are reversed.

I have been persecuted thought the courts on defamation claims for which I was denied a defence of truth and honest opinion, skipped formal proof and went straight to sentencing.

My crime has been to speak the truth and speak up on a matter of serious public corruption, it has been 8 years I have had every bit of spin and every bit of avoidance, it is painfully obvious that no one knows who the law enforcement authority was and there was no accountability to the public.

I should not be the scape goat. If New Zealand wished to strive to be the least corrupt country in the world then it would instigate a full investigation into this matter and see that whistle blowers are compensated as intended by the United Nations convention against corruption.

While New Zealand is still covering up corruption it will never be able to ratify the convention. We cannot continue to pretend that there is no corruption the only way to deal with it is to meet it head on.

I therefore ask for you Mr Key to direct that the minister for MPI conduct a full investigation into this matter together with lawyers versed in criminal law and Trusts.

I am happy to assist I am a former Police Prosecuting Sergeant and am currently a licenced Private investigator, the matter is already well investigated and researched.

Additionally I request financial assistance to relieve the financial hardship which I am experiencing due to having blown the whistle. I would not be in the position that I find myself in today if the government had acted responsibly and relied on evidence rather than hearsay.

I will soon be attending an international anti-corruption conference and hope that I can report that NZ is taking corruption seriously. I will also send a copy of this to the United Nations for their reference and also publish this on www.transparency.net.nz
I see this as a true test of the ethics of our current government.

A government for businesses.

we the peopleIn the famous Gettysburg  address Abraham Lincoln stated

  “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”

Well he was wrong  , the year was  1863 and  New Zealand was still in  its infancy   and no one  would have thought that this would be the country  where  democracy  would become a farce.

We vote  for the members, in a competition  where by money rules , those supported through secret trusts   and  large businesses have the biggest adverting   budget and we all know how effective advertising is

Once into office the  debt to  the sponsors needs to be  re paid .  There are  several ways of  doing this  so as to make it look like it is an open an transparent process

One way is through the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust.

This is a charitable trust which was set up in 1991  by PATRICK LEDGER GOODMAN and DRYDEN THOMAS SPRING  “To advance and encourage business understanding of Parliament and parliamentarians’ understanding of the business community of New Zealand’

( a quick look at their backgrounds  shows  that they are very well connected

GOODMAN  one of the wealthiest families in New Zealand and Australia, with an estimated worth of $A770 million see also Goodman dynasty cooks up recipe for success

SPRING held a number of directorships including Nufarm Ltd., Maersk NZ Ltd., Affco Ltd., Fletcher Building Ltd., Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd., Northport Ltd., Deputy Chairman of Goodman Fielder Ltd., Chairman of Ericcson NZ Ltd. Chairman Of Tenon Ltd., Deputy Chairman Of Ports Of Auckland Ltd., Deputy Chairman of The Rural Banking and Finance Corp of New Zealand. He was formerly a member of The APEC Eminent Persons Group, which in 1993 drafted the APEC Vision of Free and Open Trade in the Asia Pacific, a member of APEC Business Advisory Council, Chairman of Asia New Zealand Foundation,

the members are listed  here

Each business has an MP assigned to them ( called associate members ) they are listed here some companies e.g. Fonterra  has several MPs .

So while we the mere mortals  who  believe we live in a  democratic society have difficulty in accessing our MPS  this is not so  for  big  business.

There does not appear to be any legislation which supports MPs membership to  this trust  and I have done an OIA to clarify this .

I have also asked if we can set up   an organization along the same lines which  educates MPs with regards to  corruption

until we get an independent commission agaisnt corruption we will have

Government  of our businesses  by those who have been sponsored  by businesses to support businesses.

I also have to  wonder  why David Cunliffe  was the only one to disclose  his role in the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust.