Muse on Allen Limited a lesson on share holder agreements and Independent & competent lawyers

Today  Monteck Carter chartered accountants  sent out a news letter on  Shareholders agreements

“A Shareholders’ Agreement is a contract between the shareholders of a company. Without one, you risk a dispute at some point down the track when each shareholder has a different idea of who can do what, when they can do it, how it is done, and what was agreed at the outset. Like a pre-nuptial…

Read the whole article »

The entire fiasco with  Muse on Allen Restaurant and Bar   is a  great example as to why share holder agreements are essential and why the company should have a Lawyer who acts for and on behalf of the company ensuring that all parties have the protection which the  law  affords  them.

Two Chefs agreed to purchase an existing business  , One a relatively new immigrant  to New Zealand  had the finances to set up   a company, the other    had an ambition  too large for his  pockets which was to be the  youngest chef to be  the owner of a restaurant.

The young chefs owner   worked with their  family lawyer to  transact  matters  in the company and then they drew up their own document  which has no real basis in law  but   despite this and lack of compliance with the  document  have staunchly held  to  this grossly defective and deceptive document.

What was signed  between the so called partners of  Muse on Allen  was called  apartnering agreement partnering agreement as opposed to a Share holders agreement  There was no interdependent legal advice nor was an opportunity provided for  such advice. As a result the majority share holder had all his investment   taken from him and transferred   to the young chef Samuel North ,  contrary to the provisions of the companies act  so that    the  most cash strapped  member of this so called agreement could  claim publicly and repeatedly that  the restaurant was his own  .

A  sample copy of a share holders agreement   can be found  at this link   an unprotected version of the document is here shareholders-agreement.

As can be seen there is a massive difference  between this  document and the  ” partnering  agreement

Share holder is defined in the  companies act in section 96.  Partnership has no definition other than that  given  under the limited partnership act  and this registers partnerships.  this does not apply in this instance as this is  a limited liability company with share holders.

It is interesting to note   that the agreement  to the right is deficient   section 21 


It is quite clear therefore that Anabelle Torrejos Malcolm  North and Debbie North were not share holders.  they have never appeared on the  share registry, either those of the company or  as reflected on the  registrars  on line registry    therefore it  can quite safely be said that   this is not a shareholders agreement.

In this case Anabelle Torrejos Malcolm  North and Debbie North  could not sell their shares  as they  did not hold any.  they were instead lenders   as   they loaned their funds   to the company.shae holder accounts

We are of the opinion that  this  Partnering document being held out to be a share holders agreement makes false representations  and through those false representations  those who hold this document out to be  be genuine should be looking at the provisions  of the crimes act .

We cannot emphasize enough the need for good and competent lawyers  who act in accordance with the law.  Without such  protection   companies can go entirely off the rails and  be used  contrary to the law .

It is therefore essential that any company has an impartial  Independent lawyer who ensures that all parties  comply with the law.

No one involved in a company  should sign anything  unless thy have sought independent legal advice .


Muse on Allen limited lack of compliance with the companies act-OIA

Open letter and Official Information act request to Paul Goldsmith

Muse on Allen limited lack of compliance with the companies act.

On 19 August you responded to my letter dated 9 July 2015 in which I raised concerns with regards to enforcement of the companies act.

In that letter I had asked for a ministerial enquiry into the abuse of the companies act legislation. a copy of that letter which was addressed to Craig Foss and passed to you as responsible minister  can be  found here Abuse of Companies act – Muse on Allen Limited- request for ministerial investigation

There are several  matters  which  I believe may have been overlooked  and which are of significance they are

  1. That there are some 30   serious  offences disclosed  as  listed here
  2. The penalties range from $5,000  fine to 5 years imprisonment
  3. There are four offenders not including the company.
  4. The company is currently before liquidation court
  5. The civil action which was commenced by the lawyers of Jozsef Szekely is under section 174 of the act and does not include any of the offences which I have provided evidence for.
  6. The directors of the company have taken over the company without any legal right and have removed Jozsef’s shareholding contrary to law.
  7. The court action commenced in 2012 is now into its third year and a hearing date of April 2016 is expected.  This is estimated to cost Jozsef a further $42,000 he has already incurred costs of over $50,000…..affordable, quick.. definitely no to both

By way of OIA could you please advise

  1. How action under section 174 of the companies act Prejudiced shareholders could possibly have any relevance to the offences which have been identified.
  2. The Muse on Allen matter proves that he who holds the company key controls the company and can make changes to the register with total disregard to the requirements of the companies act.    How is this not a “a reputational threat to the New Zealand corporate registration system.”
  3. In the case of Muse on Allen there are gross inaccuracies of the companies register , on what basis  does the registrar believe that these inaccuracies are not a a material risk of financial or other loss or harm to users of the register “  the inaccuracies have been there since  August 2012  they are
    1. 17 Aug 2012 Debbie North appointed herself as Director and back dated this to the date of formation of the company. The reality is that she was appointed only as alternate director.  While there Is no provision in the act for this many companies overcome this by inserting the words alternate for alongside the name.
    2. 19 Dec 2012 Samuel North transfers shares into his own name  reducing the shareholding  of Jozsef Szekely  to 49%  in direct contradiction to the companies  accounts  and without the  required compliance with  the
    3. 09 Jan 2013 Malcolm North is appointed as director this is done using the alternate directors vote alongside the director she is alternate for. This appointment is therefore contrary to the provisions of the act.
    4. 11 Jan 2013 Samuel North removes Jozsef as a director he was voted off by the alternate director and the director who was not lawfully appointed when the three , all family members had a late night meeting in their home.
    5. 20 Feb 2013 Samuel North changes the registered address of the company to his home address.
    6. 24 Feb 2013 Samuel North transfers the remaining shares into his own name and becomes the 100% shareholder of the company. Company records at the time show that there are two shareholders Jozsef with $64,118 equity and Samuel with $5,235.    The on line shareholding continues to show that there is just one share holder.shae holder accounts
    7. 21 Oct 2013 the annual return is filed  and incorrectly  records the shareholding  showing  100% of the shares owned by Samuel North .
    8. In January 2014 a statement of defence is filed and claims that “The Companies Office records stating otherwise are in error, and that the plaintiff remains a shareholder in the Company,” the annual return is filed 09 Oct 2014 and despite claiming that there had been an error in the shareholding no correction has been made. The company accounts now show that there is only  one shareholder with paid up equity, this is  Jozsef with $64,118  while Samuel has a deficit of $6420
  4. It stands to reason that when shareholders and directors have not been appointed according to the act that everything done from the point of the first breaches of the act impact on the  entire  integrity of the company . The company has a number of PPSR’s against it and is currently in liquidation court. Those  who  have security interests in the company  have relied upon the falsehoods in the register in lodging those security interests . Do those  who provide a ppsr to a company have any right   of confidence in knowing that  what is on the register reflects reality.
  5. I have looked at your policy and it states “In order to maintain and enhance our international reputation, the Companies Office recognises that a well-regulated corporate registration system must be not only simple and cost-effective– the information that it contains must also be seen to have integrity, and to be accurate and reliable “  The  information with regards to Muse on Allen  has no integrity, is not reliable  or accurate , I can see how it is cost effective  for  the government but I cannot see how  spending  nearly $100,000 in court action   hell bent on delay  is   at all cost effective for Jozsef   Please advise   whether the cost effectiveness and simplicity  is  for the users of the companies register or for the  government.
  6. With regards to Muse on Allen the lawyer for the company XXXXXXX, refuses to seek a correction of the register despite the acknowledged error. The registrar will not intervene. It is therefore apparent that acknowledged error remains on the company record without amendment and without consequence .  Does this not implicate the registrar in allowing inaccuracies to remain on the records?  Does this not conflict with policy? What rights does the registrar have to ignore policy ? how long can an error remain before it is deliberate ?
  7. There can be no doubt that those who are holding themselves out to be directors of Muse on Allen have abused the privileges of corporate structure.  It is not Jozsef’s fault that his lawyers unwisely sought to take court action in which he is now trapped. Due to non-compliance  with the  companies act Jozsef has   suffered significant  financial losses  please advise why this matter does not come under  section 19 of  your guidelines and what  your definition of serious financial loss is and  is this  ” significant  financial loss in any way  related to a persons income or are we looking at figures which   only the very rich   could  lose.
  8. We have not received a response from the registrar on  our latest complaint  please provide a copy of all correspondence from the registrar   showing the decision in terms of  section 22 of the guide lines as to why this matter should not be prosecuted.
  9. Under the prosecution guide lines http://www.crownlaw.govt.nz/uploads/prosecution_guidelines_2013.pdf  you state that he registrar should note that before considering enforcement action the Registrar would need to be satisfied that the offending was serious andimpacted on the ability of the register to perform its purpose;
    1. poses a serious risk of financial or other loss or harm;
    2. poses a reputational threat to the New Zealand corporate registration system;
    3. was premeditated or undertaken for the purposes of dishonest or improper gain;
    4. was likely to be repeated; and/ or
    5. was undertaken by an offender with a previous history of serious offending or persistent non-compliance.

On the evidence I have provided it would appear that the offending of  the directors of Muse on Allen tick all these boxes , please advise why   enforcement action will not be taken .

  1. You state in your letter “It is unlikely that enforcement action would be taken where non-compliance is technical, where (as in Mr Szekely’s case) civil actions or other alternatives to prosecution are available to remedy harm or where prosecution would not be likely to attract a material penalty. Enforcement action would also be unlikely where compliance has already been achieved.”
    1. Please advise if this matter  is considered “ technical noncompliance “ and  provide a definition of  what “ technical noncompliance “ is
    2. What type of matters would not have a  civil  or other alternative , it would appear that  all matters  have  a civil  or other alternative.
    3. Where in the policy and  or the prosecution guidelines  is there a reference to “material penalty” does this mean that  the registrar will not prosecute any matters where imprisonment is likely ?
    4. With regards to enforcement action where compliance has already been achieve   does this mean that  a company like Muse on Allen  can blatantly breach the companies  act    and  comply   only  at the 11th hour  and the by prevent prosecution  . if this is the case could the minister   please also see that this is applied to speeding , parking      Please advise why enforcement of the companies act legislation should not be on a par with the enforcement of speeding and parking offences.

I am certain that the news media, chamber of commerce, accountant and the public in general will be interested in your response.  It is for that reason that I will be publishing my request and   your response.

The matter of Muse on Allen is   well investigated, the evidence is there the offences are   blatant and repeated   and it appears that the victim has to endure years of civil litigation which he cannot afford and all the while the offending continues and the  register remains inaccurate.

Please also advise if you will be conducting a ministerial   enquiry into this matter as it reflects on the integrity of new Zealand companies and he register and is proof that the system   is unsafe.

As a former police officer I firmly believe that compliance is only a reality when the   prosecution is real and expected and the penalty outweighs the advantages of the offending.

It appears that   the registrars  policies are more in line with  economics  than they are with  serious  enforcement and ensuring  integrity  and it makes our companies  registrar  totally unsafe.


Grace Haden

SocialCooking.co.nz and Samuel North of Muse On Allen


Good afternoon Graham Bloxam

We noted that you are promoting Samuel  North   on your  web site http://www.socialcooking.co.nz/2014/03/samuel-north/

Samuel North  has misappropriated the assets of Muse on Allen  as described on our blog.

We  sent you an email   as  follows

Sent: Monday, 3 August 2015 2:34 p.m.
To: ‘events@socialcooking.co.nz’ <events@socialcooking.co.nz>
Subject: Samuel North .. correction sought

Your web site   states


Info:At just 21 years old, Sam was considered to be the youngest Chef to be running his own establishment in Wellington, when he opened Muse on Allen 2 years ago.

This statement is not true  Samuel  opened the restaurant with a partner  who paid for  the  chattels  which Samuel uses.

Samuel removed his partner as director and    transferred  all the shareholding to himself.  This type of action is commonly  called fraud.

Samuel  has no  equity in Muse on Allen according to the 2015 accounts . annual accounts    

He additionally ran the    restaurant with his mother and father

In  the interest of fair trading act  could you please  amend this statement on your web site  to reflect the  reality  . those who misappropriate assets should not have the opportunity to benefit from it unduly.

The evidence is on our  website








The evidence  is there for   you to see but within seconds of receiving the email you had  phoned me on my cell phone and  had abused me and resorted to   calling me names.  You  threatened me  with lawyers  for “ spamming”   for the record  seeking a correction under the fair trading act is not spamming.

You followed it up with a text  which read  “never communicate  with me or my business again , you are a menace and this has nothing to do with  us  Graham social Cooking.”

You followed this up with a text stating “ you are evil .we do not support him either so  don’t put words in my moth .he is honest, hardworking we have ever had problems with Sam we trust him and you are a very very nasty person but I am sure you get told that often. Dont pick a fight with me you will lose spectacularly.”

Graham ,It would appear that you choose to believe what you are told  .You do not know me and you  are attacking me  unjustifiably.

I would like an apology for the name calling and would  like  you to correct your web site  so that it reflects reality.

I have suffered a lot of abuse from Malcolm and Sam   and now you  prefer to be ignorant   and support a person who has swindled a business away from someone else. Sam did this  by  changing the  share registry without any legal basis for doing so.

We note that socialcooking.co.nz    does not how  who it is registered to  http://dnc.org.nz/whois/socialcooking.co.nz

We see that you run a number of companies https://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/individual/search?roleType=ALL&q=Graham%20Bloxham  many of them have been struck off  and social plater is about to be struck off.

Displaying 1 – 24 of 24 results.

BLOXHAM, Graham·         INFOSCREENS LIMITED (1673877) (Struck off) – Director
BLOXHAM, Graham·         SAVE THE SEVENS LIMITED (2411757) (Struck off) – Director
BLOXHAM, Graham·         INFORMATIONZ LIMITED (1090657) (Struck off) – Director
BLOXHAM, Graham·         LUCID MEDIA LIMITED (1188158) (Struck off) – Ceased Director
BLOXHAM, Graham·         SENSATIONAL SCOOTERS LIMITED (973797) (Struck off) – Director
BLOXHAM, Graham·         SPECTACULAR OUTDOOR LIMITED (831973) (Struck off) – Director
BLOXHAM, Graham·         ISTATION LIMITED (1378206) (Struck off) – Ceased Director
BLOXHAM, Graham·         INFOSCREENS LIMITED (1673877) (Struck off) – Shareholder
BLOXHAM, Graham·         SENSATIONAL SCOOTERS LIMITED (973797) (Struck off) – Shareholder
BLOXHAM, Graham·         SAVE THE SEVENS LIMITED (2411757) (Struck off) – Shareholder
BLOXHAM, Graham·         SPECTACULAR OUTDOOR LIMITED (831973) (Struck off) – Shareholder
BLOXHAM, Graham·         LUCID MEDIA LIMITED (1188158) (Struck off) – Shareholder
BLOXHAM, Graham·         INFORMATIONZ LIMITED (1090657) (Struck off) – Shareholder
BLOXHAM, Graham·         SOCIAL PLATE LIMITED (3351630) – Shareholder
BLOXHAM, Graham·         SALESWORKS SYSTEMS LIMITED (1845570) – DirectorDirector Appointed 13 Oct 2009Flat 11, 24 Elizabeth Street, Mt Victoria, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand
BLOXHAM, Graham Harold·         COOKING SHOULD BE FUN WELLINGTON LIMITED (3766560) – Ceased Director
BLOXHAM, Graham Harold·         M5 LIMITED (1644310)
BLOXHAM, Graham Harold·         COOKING SHOULD BE FUN AUCKLAND LIMITED (3909064) – Director
BLOXHAM, Graham Harold·         SOCIAL PLATE LIMITED (3351630) – Director
BLOXHAM, Graham Harold·         COOKING SHOULD BE FUN HOLDINGS LIMITED (4015338) – Ceased Director


We can only presume that social cooking is owned by one of  the non-struck of companies .

Perhaps  a good course to run would be Sam North:-  How to cook the books :- Owning a business with no  financial input of your own.

If we all support corruption then there is only one way  that the country will go.

If we are united and  make people accountable to the law then be  can be a proud nation.

This open letter will be published on  Transparency  as the values of social cooking need to be judged by the   court of public opinion.


Grace Haden

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


the claw machine scam


Submissions to Auckland Council

Delegation, calculation of penalties and applying penalties to Rates  A dogs Breakfast

By Grace Haden

I ask for these notes and the attachments to be appended to the minutes.

I have been assisting Penny Bright in making sense of her rates demand, this has given me cause to look at the processes involved and the manner in which the penalty regime has been approached. In doing so I have noted a number of issues which require resolution.

Serious issues arise with the delegation of the powers under the Rating act

The annual plan in 2013 & 14 both state

Delegation of decision-making
Decisions relating to applying the rates under the rates related policies will be made by council officers.

The legislation Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 however states

132 Delegation
(1) A local authority may delegate the exercise of functions, powers, or duties conferred by this Act on the local authority to—
(a) its chief executive officer; or
(b) any other specified officer of the local authority.
(2) A local authority must not delegate—
(a) the power to delegate; or
(b) a function, power, or duty conferred by subpart 2 of Part 1 or subpart 1 of Part 5.

The question therefore is who ultimately has the delegated powers and who can lawfully make decisions with regards to the rates and consequently the penalty regime.

It is important to resolve the matter of delegation before we consider whether or not rating polices are legal

Applying penalties to Rates

The sequence of events is also crucial
1. The person who holds the delegated powers or powers has to be identified.

a. I have been unsuccessful in getting this information Mr Town responded this morning Rates and their setting is not delegated but is adopted by the Governing Body as required by law. Therefore no staff member has this delegation. However, delegations for different parts of the implementation of the rating system rest with different staff members depending on what is required.

b. It appears to me that what we have in the annual report and what is required by law is not expressed clearly also the act makes it clear that responsibilities can be delegated to A specified officer not “different staff members depending on what is required”

2. A resolution must be made to authorise penalties to be added to rates no later than the date when the local authority sets the rates for the financial year, It follows logically that this resolution must be available to be produced and one would think in this day an age available for public inspection on the internet. And

a. It has to stipulate how the penalty is calculated
b. the date that the penalty is to be added to the amount of the unpaid rates
c. and must not exceed 10% of the unpaid rates.

3. Section 58 sets out the various types of penalties which the council can impose and it would follow that these are the only penalties which can be imposed .

4. This penalty regime MUST be conveyed in the assessment notice.  see  assessment notice 

There is much confusion as to who really holds the responsibilities as to setting the penalty regime and there is also confusion as to the regime itself.

The annual plans all state: The council must use the special consultative procedure set out in the Local Government Act 2002 to adopt and amend the rates related policies.

The act on the other hand is specific in that it states that the policy must be set “By resolution no later than the date when the local authority sets the rates for the financial year “

This implies that this policy must be set or adopted by resolution annually

In the annual plan 2013-2014  states

The council will apply a penalty of 10 per cent of the amount of rates assessed under each instalment in the 2013/2014 financial year that are unpaid after the due date of each instalment. Any penalty will be applied to unpaid rates on the day following the due date of the instalment.

and 2014-2015

The council will apply a penalty of 10 per cent of the amount of rates assessed under each instalment in the 2014/2015 financial year that are unpaid after the due date of each instalment. Any penalty will be applied to unpaid rates on the day following the due date of the instalment.

A further 10 per cent penalty calculated on former years’ rate arrears will be added on the first business day of the new financial year (or five days after the rates resolution is adopted, whichever is the later) and then again six months later.

The words applied to do not necessarily mean that the penalty will become part of the rates and incorporated into the rates. The wording is not specific as to how the rates and penalties are calculated.

Further :The act requires the invoices to show the amount of the penalty on any unpaid rates for the rating unit and the amount of any unpaid rates owing from a previous financial year for the rating unit. The connotation is therefore that the rates and the penalties are two separate amounts and not one.

This brings about the question of whether or not penalties can be applied to penalties, if there is no resolution that penalties are added to the previous year’s rates then the next lot of penalties applied can only be applied to rates and not rates plus penalties.

The next issue which arises is the rates due for the financial year.
The invoices tates Total rates payable for 2014-2015.

Unless the resolutions to set dates for instalments can be shown to have been made legally and with the proper consultation they cannot be enforced.

The invoice shows the sum due for the year but nowhere on the invoice is there a date by which that sum is due .

There an ability to pay a reduced sum in one payment and getting a hefty 1.1% discount if the payment is made by the first instalment date, the other options available are to be penalised or to pay instalments.

Every one paying their rates on time effectively pays a full month prior to the end of the financial year. Nowhere does it state that the full rates are due by that date.

Penalties are not equal

People living in higher priced areas pay higher penalties as can be seen by the two different invoices I have produced. The penalty for late payment in Epsom is $112.70 per quarter and In Kingsland $58.10 per quarter. This is significant and a flat penalty fee should be considered due to the ever increasing property prices.
calculation of penalties
Unlawful penalties
The act allows penalties of up to 10% of the rates to be added, it does not say per annum and this allows the council to continually add 10% the rates at 6 monthly intervals if an amount is a year old. This is in excess 20% and makes loan sharks look good.

While 10 % is legal the e reality is that a penalty in excess of 10% is added.

10 % is being added to the GST inclusive price, this price is already 15% more than the set rate.

While council through legally set penalty regimes can charge up to 10% penalty on rates they have no legal ability to charge 10% penalty on GST.

This also raises the question of the GST which the council then declares to IRD as having been received but that is a matter for you.

Taking Penny’s rate bill for example the rates instalment is $581 of which $75.78 is GST by charging 10% on the GST inclusive sum a further $7.57 of unlawful penalties is charged per quitter.

In the Epsom example the sum is an extra $14.70 per quarter
It would appear that the rates are a dogs breakfast , they are hap hazard and not done according to the legislative requirements.

While Council appear to ignore the law which they have to comply with, they enforce penalties which have been imposed without any legal basis and against the rule of law.

Council is required to act according to section 14 Of the local government act
a) a local authority should—
• (i) conduct its business in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner;

I have not even been able to get questions answered let alone find relevant documents on the council web sites which would enable me to follow the tail of consultation, delegation, resolutions and implementation.

If this is what happens in the process of collecting rates, then we really do have to wonder about the process of spending them.

I have personal experience of seeing the council allow council officers use council resources infrastructure for self-enrichment. There is a deliberate turning of a blind eye to his while rate payers are seen as a bottomless pit of revenue. Questioning this has cost me  more than $300,000   . we have persons in council on wages of $600,000 per year  what are they being paid for.  I would hope   it is to get this kind of thing  right.

This will also be posted on www.Transparency.net.nz

Grace Haden

Council rates- Is the council delegating authority legally – part 4.

In this  the  final instalment of the Auckland council rates investigation we explore  delegation.

The  Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 states

132 Delegation
  • (1) A local authority may delegate the exercise of functions, powers, or duties conferred by this Act on the local authority to—

    • (a) its chief executive officer; or

    • (b) any other specified officer of the local authority.

    (2) A local authority must not delegate

    • (a) the power to delegate; or

Now lets look at the annual  plan again, it states

Delegation of decision-making

Decisions relating to applying the rates under the rates related policies will be made by council officers.

The question  we  need to explorer here is whether  “council officers.”   is   the same as specified as required by the act.  .

There appears to be no definition for Council officer  in any  legislation

Is the lady on the  front desk  there is a receptionist, she is a council officer  , the guy  who overseas the council car park  he is a council officer , I guess you could say that any council employee is a council officer.

Further the annual plan states  that it is  “Decisions relating to applying the rate”  that is delegated to “Council officers ” but the act is specific that   Council cannot delegate the power to delegate  . So without a specific person  being handed the responsibility  the  delegation is  left  rather wide open . There is only one thing for certain and that is that the responsibility still rests with the governing body .

The slack  wording of the annual   plan   and the lack of specificness brings about  the question whether or not the  penalty regime set  by council is even legal in the remotest sense.

But wait there is more

The rates assessment is  sent out at the  beginning of the financial year and  is a document  which is  produced to comply with section sets out the  details as required by legislation , in this case section 45

So we have gone back to the rates assessment notice  that we have before us   and start ticking off the requirements as set out by the legislation.


(k) the total amount of rates payable on the rating unit for the financial year:

we have already seen that  the total amount payable is  $4510.81 .

But if the payment is  made by instalments and each instalment is one day late  then  the  amount paid by the end of the financial  year  ( paid up  by 28 May 2015  when due date is 30 June  2015 )  will be  $4961.61  , an extra $450.81  under the councils  penalty scheme which is not supported by legislation .

On top of that   the $450.81  includes   a total of $58.80 penalties on GST

(l) whether or not the local authority has a remission policy, a postponement policy, or a rates relief policy for Māori freehold land and, if so, a brief description of the criteria for rates relief under each policy:

There is nothing on  our notice which  refers to this at all .

(l) whether or not the local authority has a remission policy, a postponement policy, or a rates relief policy for Māori freehold land and, if so, a brief description of the criteria for rates relief under each policy:

There is nothing on the rates assessment notice which states when the rates must be paid by , the  installment dates are given but there is no indication that  the payments must be made by those dates  it simply states ” amount payable by “.

(n) if applicable,—

(i) the penalty regime of the local authority; and

(ii) a warning that, if rates are not paid on time, a penalty may be added under that regime:

There is nothing on the rates assessment notice with regards  to penalty regimes   and there are no warnings with regards to failing to pay by any due date .

(o) if an early payment of rates has been made in accordance with a policy adopted under section 56(1),—

(i) the rates paid and any balance remaining to be paid; and

(ii) the amount of any discount allowed for the early payment of the rates; and

(iii) any credit balance remaining after payment of all rates due, adjusted for any discount allowed:

None of the above are shown on the rates assessment notice  .

(p) the right of ratepayers to—

(i) inspect the rating information database and rates records; and

(ii) object to any of the information included in the rating information database and rates records.

There is no mention  of these details either .

The Rates assessment notice  which we have before us  does not comply with the legislation Contents of rates assessment.

Perhaps the  council should  tidy up its act with regard to rates

  1. Have penalties which are fair and reasonable  based on the   ever increasing value  and ever  rising rates   of our homes
  2. Have a rates penalty regime which makes sense and  can be interpreted in the same way by every one reading it.
  3. Apply   Penalties legally and only to the portions  which   penalties can legally be applied to
  4. Live by the law which  council so strictly imposes on the rate Payers.

I would  like  to Acknowledge Penny Bright  . It is because we looked at  the rates bill she had that  these issues have been raised.    Her  penalty bill is now  significantly larger than   her   rates demands . While Auckland council wants to sell her house for effectively $13,000  in   arrears rates and more than  $20,000  in penalties.

Auckland council the time to be open and transparent with your rates  penalty regime is now.

Council rates- How legal are council penalties – part 3.

As if the past two days have not given you enough  to think about,  here is another major issue for council

The  Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 at section 58   provides for the ability to impose penalties

(2) The amount of unpaid rates to which a penalty may be added includes—

 (a) a penalty previously added to unpaid rates under this section; or
(b) additional charges added to unpaid rates under section 132 of the Rating Powers Act 1988; or
(c) rates levied under the Rating Powers Act 1988 that remain unpaid.

Going back to section 57

(1) A local authority may, by resolution, authorise penalties to be added to rates that are not paid by the due date.

(2) A resolution made under subsection (1) must—

 (a) be made not later than the date when the local authority sets the rates for the financial year; and
(b) state—

 (i) how the penalty is calculated; and
(ii) the date that the penalty is to be added to the amount of the unpaid rates.

In the 2014-15  resolution in the annual plan   there is no mention  f penalties being cumulative or added on to the rates  so as to attract penalties on penalties. it simply states .

Penalties on rates not paid by the due date
The council will apply a penalty of 10 per cent of the amount of rates assessed under each instalment in the 2014/2015 financial year that are unpaid after the due date of each instalment. Any penalty will be applied to unpaid rates on the day following the due date of the instalment.

A further 10 per cent penalty calculated on former years’ rate arrears will be added on the first business day of the new financial year (or five days after the rates resolution is adopted, whichever is the later) and then again six months later.

The  resolution is actually quite specific  it states that “A further 10 per cent penalty calculated on former years’ rate arrears” it does not  say including penalties , and rates has not been redefined to mean rates plus penalties.

In going through this exercise we have  come to realize several things.

  1. the rates penalty  policy is not very clear  and the average person   will struggle to sort it out, We did, and we are not even sure if we got it right.
  2. Give it to  half a dozen accountants and we are sure that you will get as many  variants  in calculations
  3. Give it to a dozen lawyers and you will get a dozen interpretations possibly more  depending on case law
  4. The legislation is 12 years old , House prices  in Auckland have gone up  massively  yet council has not reconsidered   its rating penalties either percentage  wise or  in line with the legal provisions. 10%  on or  rates when we paid $1,000 per year is very different to 10%   when you are paying $4,000.
  5. Just because   we allow  the world to buy up Auckland to  get rich quick , launder money, land bank  etc  does not mean that the  residents need to be  bankrupted so that their houses  can be put on the market.
  6. You would  do better going to a loan shark than to  default on rates.
  7. Live alone pensioners based on the   rates demand referred to above  ( receiving live alone  super  of $21,931.52 would  be parting with nearly 25% of their super  to live in the  family  home .  We are being forced out of our homes  by rates and penalties .

It is therefore most important that rates  and penalties are applied in a open transparent democratic manner and above all  Compliant with the law.

Dare I say it .. yes there are other issues.. more tomorrow


PRESS RELEASE: Epsom Independent candidate ‘anti-Corruption whistle-blower’ Grace Haden

PRESS RELEASE: Epsom Independent candidate ‘anti-Corruption whistle-blower’ Grace Haden


“I have decided to stand as an ‘Independent’ candidate in my home electorate of Epsom. I am seeking accountability from government and to achieve this I will be campaigning for an Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)”), says ‘anti-Corruption whistle-blower’ Grace Haden. (https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/)

“I believe that a by-election in Epsom is essential to keep the public spotlight on the corrupt practices surrounding the resignation of ACT MP John Banks, but also shine it on the reality of the widespread corruption which is becoming more and more evident in New Zealand.

“The harsh reality is that New Zealand’s “least corrupt country in the world “tag line is not reality but a perception and as such ,the perception is a false illusion a façade . The perception index (http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/) is frequently misquoted and does not correlate with the fact that we are one of a small handful of countries which have not ratified the United Nations convention against corruption. “(https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/signatories.html)

“Despite New Zealand claiming to be “the least corrupt “ , I , a former long-serving Police officer, (and Police prosecutor), now a licensed Private Investigator, have found it impossible to get corruption investigated in New Zealand by any of the so called public watch dogs. I have discovered that we do not have corruption because we do not define it and turn a wilful blind eye to it, as occurred in the John Banks case. “

“8 years ago, I questioned serious public corruption, provided facts and evidence to support my allegations, but so far, to no avail.” I have discovered that Corruption does ruin lives – It tore my family apart.”

“Enough is enough. No one else should have to go through what I have had to endure. Lessons need to be learned from the past and solutions found for the future. Cancer cannot be treated without a diagnosis and this is also true with corruption. Ignore corruption and like cancer it will consume us.

“New Zealand desperately needs an Independent Commission Against Corruption, and I am pleased to report that I now have an MP who will present a petition which I initiated, seeking

“That the House legislate to set up an independent Commission against Corruption, tasked with the prevention, education, detection and prosecution of corruption in New Zealand.”

I have a well-established background in fighting and exposing corruption in New Zealand, these are documented on the following web sites http://www.civiljustice.co.nz/, http://www.transparency.net.nz/, http://www.anticorruption.co.nz/

Grace Haden

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

Guilty or Convicted the John Banks dilemma

convict BanksIf you were to look up the word Convict you will find that an overwhelming number of dictionaries give the definition as

Convict 1. Declare (someone) to be guilty of a criminal offence by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law.

Convict 1. Law To find or prove (someone) guilty of an offense or crime, especially by the verdict of a court:

con•vict  verb (used with object)
1.to prove or declare guilty of an offense, especially after a legal trial: to convict a prisoner of a felony.
2. to impress with a sense of guilt.

Why it matters
Electoral Act 1993 55 How vacancies created

The seat of any member of Parliament shall become vacant—d) if he or she is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for life or by 2 or more years’ imprisonment or is convicted of a corrupt practice, or is reported by the High Court in its report on the trial of an election petition to have been proved guilty of a corrupt practice;

The offence with which Banks was charged is an offence punishable with imprisonment of 2 years .

It is interesting that currently our legislation does not have a definition for convicted but up until 1 July 2013 the crimes act 1961 carried such a definition which was repealed on that date this definition read.

3. Meaning of “convicted on indictment’‘—For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be deemed to be convicted on indictment if—

(a) He pleads guilty on indictment; or

(b) He is found guilty on indictment; or

(c) He is committed to the Supreme Court for sentence under section 44 or section [153A or section] 168 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957; or

(d) After having been committed to the Supreme Court for trial, he pleads guilty under section 321 of this Act.

I have no idea why this was removed from the legislation 1 July 2013, by section 6 of the Crimes Amendment Act (No 4) 2011 (2011 No 85). But it appears that a huge hole was left in the legislation

The scenario used to be convicted – sentenced.

Now it appears to be found guilty – convicted – sentenced.. Yet there appears to be no legal precedent or legal foundation for this.

The interpretation act gives no definition for convicted or guilty.

Since our legislation no  longer  defines  Convicted  we have to rely on the interpretation of the legislation and the common dictionary meaning

There are many examples in legislation which point to the fact that convicted still means guilty e.g.

Criminal Procedure Act 2011 section 147
4) Without limiting subsection (1), the court may dismiss a charge if—

• (a) the prosecutor has not offered evidence at trial; or

• (b) in relation to a charge for which the trial procedure is the Judge-alone procedure, the court is satisfied that there is no case to answer; or

• (c) in relation to a charge to be tried, or being tried, by a jury, the Judge is satisfied that, as a matter of law, a properly directed jury could not reasonably convict the defendant.

So how could a jury convict any one if this is something that is only in the realm of a judge and done after being found guilty?

The reality is that this makes sense only if to convict and to find guilty are one and the same thing.

The plot thickens when you read the judgement R v BANKS [2014] Paragraph 6

[6] The information against Mr Banks was laid on 10 December 2012. Sections 105 and 106 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 apply to Judge-alone trials. However, those provisions only came into force on 1 July 2013. Pursuant to s 397 of the Act, this matter has been determined in accordance with the law as it was before that date.

The crimes act definition of convicted still existed at that time as it was not repealed until 1.July 2013

The criteria for section 3 crimes act Print/Download PDF (5.5MB)or see it on it own Crimes Act 1961 S 3 are therefore the criteria which apply to this decision and he question is was he found guilty on indictment.

The answers to that are again in the decision

[2] The indictment reads as follows…

[3] I have found Mr Banks guilty of the charge

The only possible outcome in that case is that John Archibald banks is convicted

We have brought this to the attention of the court by way of memorandum, this was filed at about 3.15 pm Friday 6 June 2006
memorandum for registrar.
We will keep you posted.
Perhaps the government in the meantime would like to attend to the definition of Convicted.