Promotion of Accounting Reform as the most effective Pathway to a Fairer Safer and more Prosperous Society. Comment and Support from all quarters is Sought to straighten out NZ's problem
May 2016 Edition
To peruse our extensive evidence that the Feltex IPO was a Government sanctioned robbery of hard working but modestly educated New Zealanders to raise funds to enable the country’s athletes to cheat Olympic gold medals click here.
Late May 2016 edition
As we understand it the appeal in the cases Houghton v Saunders involving the issue of misleading information in the 2004 Feltex Carpets IPO prospectus is awaiting a reserved decision from the Court of Appeal. We believe that the understanding of all those involved in the case including the judges is that this action allegedly on behalf of 3000+ of the 8000 IPO subscribers will not succeed. This case is about a Government arranged fake IPO selling shares in a near worthless company to raise funds so that the country could cheat gold medals at the Athens Olympic games as happened. The appearance of action being taken on their behalf has quelled the anger of the duped shareholders for a very extended period of time. We hope we are wrong and the Court awards the subscribers all they sought and more. Ideally it should pronounce the IPO and the recovery action to be a fraud and jail everyone who has actively taken part in either event. But we are not at all confident of the Court of Appeal doing anything in favour of the subscribers. The president of the court the Honourable Justice Ellen France chairs this particular panel alongside her deputy the Honourable Justice Randerson (male) and we think Honourable Justice Helen Winkelmann. We think it fair to refer to these female judges as “Helen’s women” since both were appointed judges when Helen Clark was prime minister. France was appointed in 2002 and Winkelmann in 2004 about a couple of months after the Feltex IPO. Justice Dobson of the High Court who presided over the Houghton v Saunders hearing but didn’t see merits in the action was also appointed in that era along of course with the female appointments from Australia to the Securities Commission of Diplock and Dunstan. They happened to both be on the all female quorum that could find nothing significantly wrong with the Feltex IPO.
The third female judge of the Court of Appeal is the Honourable Justice Christine French. She was appointed to the High Court in Christchurch but not we think in the Clark era. She was scheduled to hear the Houghton v Saunders case with a Christchurch QC representing the plaintiffs but rather suddenly the case was switched to Wellington under Dobson. We think probably Justice French said no to a predetermined outcome. All three women have sat together but we can’t find out what sort of case that was. But a France and a French tends to suggest a bit of a Rainbow Warrior flavour. A trouble with women judges is they can change their name through marriage and it is hard to find out what they got up to earlier. Judges marrying judges or spouses of judges becoming judges does not seem right to us either. France has a husband in the High we think as we think does the Chief District Court Judge Doogue who just before coming chief dismissed an MED prosecution of five former Feltex Carpets directors. She had not specialized in commercial cases.
We wish now to take issue with the Broadcasting Standard Authority’s decision number 2015-005 concerning our complaint about its treatment of our complaint to it about Radio New Zealand’s (now RNZ’s) treatment of its Reeves Memorial Lecture for 2015. This lecture was delivered by former Prime Minister Helen Clark. She was particularly responsible for robbing 8000 amateur investors of about $200m by way of the fake year 2000 Feltex IPO. And many deaths have resulted as may have been expected from such a colossal scam. We say that as a broadcaster and newscaster RNZ had to treat Miss Clark as the crook that she is and not adulate her as was done in the program.
We wish to comment on this Decision sequentially. First up is the Summary, much of which is presented on BSA summary page. It was not the choice of speaker for this edition of the annual lecture which we complained about but the adulation which was accorded her prior to and after her lecture.
Now we come to the Introduction of this decision. In paragraph (2) it was correctly stated that it was the “adulation” we complained about. Our complaint here is that absolutely nothing was said about whether evidence was provided and consequently what type of evidence was provided for why it was alleged that the lecturer was very corrupt. We say the answer was yes, various, plenty.
Now we come to the final, presumably nitty gritty, section. In paragraph (5) the word “lecture” is put in quote marks as we have just done. Well if it was called a lecture and took the form of a lecture we can see no reason to suggest that it was anything else except perhaps an adulation festival.
Paragraph (7) seems to be headed in an ominous direction but we can’t take issue with it because it does not say that this section 11 is relevant to us.
The crunch comes at paragraph (9). The complaint is about the adulation accorded Miss Clark. The Authority says that it listened to the program but does not say whether it agrees that there was adulation. Tyrants the world over of course survive on adulation accorded them by internal news media which they effectively control. If the BSA thinks there was no adulation it should declare that but it does not say the complaint is not upheld so it might be assumed that it thought that there was adulation. But it says that it “appears” that our main concern was RNZ’s choice of “interviewee”. It was not a interview as such, it was a lecture with time for some questions or more correctly flattering adulation of the lecturer at the end. There was no justification for this perceived “appearance”. We offered an opinion as to why she was chosen but choosing her was not our complaint. We need to hear from these world leaders regardless of how corrupt they are so that we might try to deduce what they are getting up to. This “appearance” to the BSA that it was the choice of “interviewee” that we were complaining was no doubt dreamed up so that the complaint could aligned with other complaints that we have made. The Authority is not prepared to put any resourses into allegations involving Government corruption because its members are Government appointees and how they will come out of making a finding against the Government is uncertain in the short-term. But they are not doing their duty of keeping the Government free of corruption and should be punished for this. We think they will be in due course but any time delay is very bad for the country. Our rating on the Corruption Perception index is going into free fall and we will be on a par with North Korea if cases like this are not attended to.
Next the authority alleges that we have “previously made a number of similar complaints to this authority that did not raise matters of broadcasting standards”. We reject this allegation absolutely and intend again defending ourselves over them forthwith. But to continue considering this latest, Clark lecture, complaint note that this quoted allegation says nothing about it. Nor in fact does anything in the rest of the paragraph. There is merely a sly inference that that is the case. Regardless of the merits of this latest complaint it has been decided on the impressions the Authority espouses of previous complaints we have made.
With regard to paragraph (11) it is interesting to note that RNZ was not suggesting a fine for making a complaint to it. It possibly is keen to know where we are at a given time. It never says much and virtually just pushes a button to do the paperwork so the costs to it of a complaint are not great. Its concern is with an appeal to the BSA and has several times threatened a fine if a referral is made, but not for a further complaint.
Misrepresenting crooks as brilliantly fine outstanding citizens is very much within the ambit of broadcasting standards.
Right! back to the previous complaints. We say the broadcasting standards of accuracy and fairness forbid a broadcaster from presenting a person on a program as a presumably fine upstanding professional citizen when they know or suspect that this is not the case. The public have a right to know what sort of person they are listening to. RNZ’s mediawatch program did such a misrepresentation when they invited a former Dominion Post editor Tim Pankhurst onto its program two weeks running in January 2015. Mr Pankhurst was in the thick of a complaint we made to the Press Council in 2005 which was upheld. His newspaper published a statement that NZs exports per capita were markedly below that of Australia and the United States when of course the opposite is the case as NZ is a much smaller economy. This statement was made in an article on a paper presented by Kerry McDonald who was chairman of a major exporting company which was keen to see exports encouraged. When approached over the statement Mr Pankhurst continued to say that he believed that the statement was correct. Miss-statements like this de-educate the community. The Media-Watch team is generally keen to refer to upheld Press Council decisions but did not directly comment on this case because no doubt the Government arranged or endorsed the deception. Mr Pankhurst moved off soon after that and these Media-watch appearances were no doubt an attempt to bring him back into the limelight of respectability. The appearances had little or nothing to do with Media-watch’s focus. In its decision 2015-010 the BSA on this occasion conceded we “made numerous serious allegations”. But not serious or plausible enough to warrant a determination apparently. They declined to determine the case on the grounds that it was Trivial. Mr Pankhurst is currently CEO of Sealord defending it and the Government from University accusations of the industry illegally dumping huge quantities of fish over a long period of time.
Then we have decision 2015-002 2014-159 and 2013-028 which all relate to this major scandal of the Government under Helen Clark setting up a corrupt judiciary and financial regulatory bodies so that vulnerable investors could be misled into subscribing into the crooked Feltex IPO whereby some of the money has gone into cheating gold Olympic medals for the country. This cost them $200m and the scam has resulted in many deaths but RNZ and other media refuse to acknowledge the terrible scam. All four of NZ.s broad spectrum courts were headed by women for a time until Justice Winkelmann moved from heading the High Court to join the Court of Appeal, most if not all these women being appointed to the bench by Helen Clark, no doubt on the basis that they screw certain cases. These cases concern corrupt people and firms being brought back on air by RNZ as if they were fine outstanding citizens. This is not acceptable broadcasting and standards on accuracy and fairness outlaw it.