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
January 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.
Ok, Let’s get up to date with NZ’s crookedness factor which is holding us all back. We have had a change of Government of course but we have no reason to think that this improves the situation. Indeed female politicians have been leading the way in the corruption stakes because a lot of historic anti-corruption measures are now seen to apply to them and we again have a female Prime Minister. We already have had 10 years of such Prime Ministers while Australia has escaped with 3 and seems not to add to this any time soon. Canada we think has had no such years giving it we think minimum corruption and maximum wealth. However the WADA organization is based there and we think it promotes selective sports cheating. We have had the death of former deputy NZ Prime Minister and political maverick Jim Anderton at time of writing and we have pinned nothing on him so perhaps this means that this is also a negative event.
A recent happening has been the resignation of the head of the NZ Superannuation Fund, Adrian Orr, to become Governor of the NZ Reserve Bank at a significant reduction in salary. This Super Fund is officially to help pay the country’s state superannuation bill in years where the percentage of superannuates is very high but it seems unofficially it is a sludge fund to pay for extravagances of politicians such as telling the public that this is the least corrupt country in the world.
We have complained to Radio New Zealand about its coverage of Orr’s move by its business commentator Rod Oram. Here is the Text of the complaint:
“I wish to complain about a segment of National Radio’s Nine to Noon program broadcast at 11:05am on Tuesday 12 December 2017. This consisted of the regular interview with the “Business commentator” Rod Oram. My complaint is about the first issue covered being the appointment of Adrian Orr as governor of the Reserve Bank and its implications for the NZ Superannuation Fund which Orr currently heads.
“My first complaint relates to late in the Super fund topic when Mr Oram says that if the Fund goes inhouse for a CEO the obvious choice is Matt Whineray “who has been Chief investment officer for almost ten years”. Although Mr Whineray joined the Fund in year 2008 his appointment as Chief Investment Officer was announced on 17 June 2014. The Fund’s announcement is to be found here.
This appointment was just 3 and a half years ago and Mr Oram’s reference to 10 years is completely unacceptable. It is clear that this was a lie (as the hesitancy in the middle of the statement also indicates) to help the Government path the way for Mr Whineray being appointed.
Clearly Mr Orr is keen to coming down in salary to get away from such corruption but this is not mentioned.
“Secondly Mr Oram failed to refer to the $US150m payment to controversial US finance house Goldman Sachs for the stated purpose of Sachs joining it with 11 other sums totaling $US613m to deposit all the funds (in the name Oak Finance) in one only private Portuguese bank known as BES. This payment was made just days after Mr Whineray was appointed CIO. Within 4 weeks it was announced that this bank was in financial trouble with deposits in it being divided into “good” and “bad” categories by the Portuguese Reserve Bank. The Fund wrote off the investment in February 2015 and appeared before Parliament’s Commerce Select Committee on 26 Feb 2015 in relation to the matter. Although a write-off of $US150m in itself might not be concerning the circumstances behind this one most certainly are. Why would the Fund go out of its way to make a special deposit in a private Portuguese bank?
“Thirdly it is clear that Mr Whineray was appointed CIO as part of the Government’s (supported by the Labour Party) plan to divert Superannuation Funds by pretending to “unfortunately” invest in businesses which were known to have failed before an announcement of the failure has been made .Most of the “lost” money then goes into secret (usually highly illegal and immoral) projects and the rest is payment for the pretense to be kept up. Mr Whineray and his brother Fraser were both employees of Credit Suisse when this practice was trialed around the year 2000. Credit Suisse was broker to both parties (to one as C S First Boston and to the other as Credit Suisse F B) when the ACC paid $0.5m to Cliff Cook for National Mail shares just days before National Mail went out of the mail business with 95% of the “investment” being lost. ACC knew that Peter Fitzsimmonds who was on the National Mail board was a close associate of Cliff Cook, their being chairman and largest shareholder respectively in the then public company Metlifecare. The ACC investment manager Nickolas Bagnall remains in his post and is now the highest paid public servant. Fraser Whineray was appointed CEO of Mighty River Power by its chairwoman Joan Withers just 2 months before Matt Whineray was appointed CIO of the Super Fund. Withers was appointed to the Board of Feltex Carpets in 2004 just days before this company misrepresented itself in an IPO prospectus and fleeced amateur investors of over $200m. Credit Suisse was closely associated with the sole vendor and a lead broker in this IPO which Government agencies failed to censure. The Supreme Court is yet to rule on a flawed case put up on behalf of the Feltex fleeced investors. This money obviously went to buy cheating licenses to enable NZ’s peculiar gold and silver medals at the Athens Olympic Games. Matt and Fraser Whineray were appointed to their respective organisations in 2008 the final year of the Clark Government.
“The BES money has obviously gone to buy top ratings for NZ on the Corruption Index of the NGO Transparency International. The other11 “contributors” to Oak Finance are to be found on a “claim form” on the Super Fund’s web site. Other major contributions come from Denmark and United Kingdom who both do very well on the TI index. Ten of the contributors are registered in small states with reputations as tax havens. NZ was doing a roaring accounting business with companies so registered until a law change meant the country of the ownership has to be advised and now most of these companies have gone away. In a parliamentary debate on this subject this year many MPs referred to the countries high standing on the TI index as evidence (usually the only evidence given) of the claimed high ethical standing of NZ.
RNZ praises the Super Fund’s apparent high earning performance without mentioning it US connected auditors are also associated with most scandals such as the 1990 BNZ profit overstatement, Feltex IPO, and ACC leaks.
There is no place for such behavior in this country and RNZ and Mr Oram have a duty to help stamp it out. They must tell the country the truth.”
In our belated September edition we reported on the Supreme Court commencing a 3 day substantive hearing on the aspects of the Houghton v Saunders case. But the press do not seem to have covered this case at all and the Court does not seem to have issued a decision. It seems this “case” has just been allowed to fizzle out. This case was a crime in itself in that it just pretended to represent the amateur investors who were stolen of their money by the Government. We will make further enquiries.
We have moved our headquarters to Dunedin in the environs of which much Government corruption has been based. We hope our fate is not like that of Allen Hubbard the reported circumstances of whose death we find to be just too co-incidental and convenient to believe.