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

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To our page back through previous editions click here Index is in right hand column

May 2018 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.

Well its time for an update. We have that a specific appeal in the case Houghton v Saunders heard for three days from 8 of October 2017 by the Supreme Court still has a reserved judgement. How much loooooonger can this go on for. Lengthening the time that this fake appeal takes so as to reduce the possibility of anyone taking a genuine case over the Feltex IPO is of course part of the tactic. The Supreme case know that this is a very weak case put up on behalf of subscribers to the highly misrepresented Feltex IPO of May. This IPO is a major case of Government legal fraternity and Accounting fraturity sanction corruption. The IPO stole $200m + off somewhat financially ignorant (Mums and Dads) New Zealanders to buy surprise unlikely gold medals at the Athens Olympic games. There is time yet for the Supreme Court to stand up and say “not us” but it is running out fast.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has just released its finding on our complaint on RNZ,s (the long established radio network) statement concerning the suitability of Matt Whineray to be Chief Executive Officer of the NZ Superannuation Fund which manages investment of about $NZ30b of assets to help finance a heavy requirement for superannuation funds from about 10 years time. RNZ’s business commentator Rod Oram said this on the subject of a replacement CEO for the NZ Superannuation Fund. “Who the Gardians of the Superannuation Fund looks to for, a replacement, well obviously theoretically they could look widely and indeed overseas but my slight hunch,but this is me not really knowing what is going on, I think they would deem that they have a successful business and culture now and would want to keep that going because it is always a big change to get in an outsider, so if they are looking for an insider the obvious choice is Matt Whineray who has been Chief Investment officer for almost 10 years, very experienced and across the whole business whereas other senior people in the management team have some specific functions where he’s got that very big overarching I thought he would be a very strong candidate for an inside appointment. Well the BSA’s decision on the matter is to be found here. In the point 11 the BSA says “As Mr Whineray’s relevant professional experience was only briefly raised and was not the focus of the segment, the commentator’s statement was not likely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the segment as a whole”. Well what the BSA thinks the segment was we are not sure. We used the term to refer to the entire session of about 20 minutes involving Mr Oram. He started by discussing what he thought Mr Orr, the outgoing Super Fund CEO, would bring to the Reserve Bank. Then he put in this little piece about a replacement for Mr Orr at the Super Fund and after that he had comments on a variety of private sector business matters. I don’t believe seeks to give an overall impression of his “segment” or any little part of whatever a segment is. Business is an itsy bitsy subject. He comments point and is generally not seeking to go anywhere overall. If it is only a brief comment the more important it is that what he has said is accurate. Mr Orr chose to say how long Mr Whineray had been in his current role. He should therefore have the information correct. Well we are kind of prepared to admit that Mr Whineray may have been the unofficial second in charge and in charge of investments since coming to the Fund in 2008. But that was not the official story and the official situation must count for a lot. The Government or whoever is in charge cannot have it both ways. Mr Whineray was listed in eighth place on listed staff in the annual reports up to and including the 2014 one. Then the announcement around June 2014 made a big fuss about Mr Whineray becoming Chief Investment Officer. Mr Oram cannot have it both ways.

We have been rather critical of the staff of the NZ Superannuation Fund almost from its inception. It was triggered when Paul Dyer was appointed the Chief Investment Officer of the Fund around 2004. (We called him Paul Dwyer sorry). Mr Dyer had come from AMP Henderson which had bought up NZ Rail shares which didn’t impress us. But probably he knew the Government was intent on buying back the railway company. Mr Dyer then apparently recruited Tore Haywood, also from AMP Henderson. Mr Haywood had been with Fay Richwhite prior to that and we have no time for Fay Richwhite. Other staff members were Mr Brooks who had been with the Development Finance Corporation when it went bust and the Financial accountant who had for a few years worked for the Ernst and Young, the Fund’s auditors.

The Funds CEO at that time had been Paul Costello. He had had a rather strange career. He came from North Canterbury and taught history in Hutt Valley secondary schools finishing up at Taita College at age 31 when he went off to Australia to go into the Superannuation business. Taita is a state housing area and the college had a decile rating of 2. John Key was brought up in a state house but he went to Burnside High School which had a decile rating of 8. An arguably successful person who attended Taita College was Craig Foss who was Key’s Commerce minister for five years. Foss spent years with Credit Suisse like the Whineray brothers. Whether Foss knew Costello through their Taita College connection we don’t know. We also wonder whether Paul Costello is related to Peter Costello the long serving Australian Treasurer. Peter came to prominence about the same time as Paul took off to Australia.

Anyway in 2004 Paul Costello came back from Australia to be CEO of NZ Superannuation Fund and obtained the staff as we discussed above. We criticized the associations of the Funds staff in our February 2006 edition. The Fund took a lot of the background information about its staff off its website soon afterward. By the end of the year Paul Costello had resigned and gone back to Australia saying his wife and family wished to go back there. Then in early 2008 with the Fund feeling the effects of the global financial downturn (or so it was speculated) the CEO Adrian Orr did some staff restructuring, dropping the term Chief Investment Officer and leaving Paul Dyer off the list. Dyer went off to the ACC soon afterward, to be followed, again, by Tore Haywood. Matt Whineray joined the Fund at No. 8 position at that time although it might be that he was effectively the CIO. We failed to observe this and his extensive Credit Suisse background. He became the official CIA in June 2014 just days before the Fund splashed $US150m into what it claims was a deposit in a private Portuguese Bank, BES, which was insured as well as being guaranteed by the Portuguese Reserve Bank. Four weeks later BES was pronounced bust. There was no insurance payout, and the Portuguese Reserve Bank did not come to the party, so this “deposit” was written off in February 2015 and the Fund appeared before Parliament’s Commerce Select Committee in connection with the matter at that time. It is obvious that actually the payment was made to corrupt Transparency International officials ( through controversial finance house Goldman Sachs) to buy the country top rating on TI’s anticorruption perception index. A “claim form” against the Portuguese Reserve Bank which the Fund has released show entities in Denmark and UK have purported to have deposited similar amounts into this BES bank. These countries along with NZ do very well on the TI index. It was speculated that NZ would take a drastic fall on the index having been kicked off an European Union most trustworthy countries list and a close association with tax haven countries. But no such fall has occurred. Possibly there is a 4th country so enhancing its TI rating.. Most of the deposit amounts come from companies registered in so called tax haven mini states.

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