Anticorruptionnz's Blog

11/03/2010

Submission to the select committee

Animal Welfare Act. A private prosecution service with a licence to print money. Increase accountability of approved organisation  before  increasing penalties to  the public

Submitted By Grace Haden Licenced Private Investigator

Four years ago I asked questions about an approved organisation Animal welfare institute of New Zealand (AWINZ)as a result  I have  been hauled through the court  it has  potential of costing over $250,000  and it has  destroyed my family. In the words of transparency international.. corruption ruins lives  fight back .. I have   but corruption in animal welfare   funded by the  public purse  and private prosecutions  has  been a task too big for me.

Background

In 1999 Mr Neil Edward Wells  Barrister who wrote the first bill for animal welfare Act 1999 and had seen its passage into law   through his employment as independent advisor to the select committee , applied to the minister of Agriculture for   the Animal welfare Institute of New Zealand  (AWINZ ) to become  an approved organisation by virtue of section 121 Animal welfare act 1999.

Mr Wells applied on behalf of  AWINZ ( the  trading name for a group of people ) but there was never  any evidence  that these people  were  aware of their responsibilities, the legislative implications  ,that they consented to this application for approved status or that they even existed as  an “ organisation “

When I questioned the existence of AWINZ  ( following  the  euthanasia of a cat named Chloe and an inspector voicing her concerns ) I was promptly sued to keep me quite, Funds were raised from the  public  purse  in the guise of a charity  and used to pursue me through the court  ( this  is proved by invoices I have and  the financial statements  on the charities web site for a trust which  did not exist when litigation commenced )

I am a former Police Sergeant and am now a Private Investigator and member of the  Certified Fraud examiners association.

In obtaining evidence for my defence   I have obtained documentation which proves the following documents are attached as they appear below.

  1. Mr Wells a former  RNZSPCA director  had a business concept to utilise territorial dog and stock control  officers as SPCA type inspectors ( animal welfare inspectors ) he set up a pilot programme which he initiated in Waitakere city (letter dated 26 August 1994)
  2. In  1996 he wrote to the  then manager  Waitakere City Animal Welfare  division Tom Didovich  and expressed intent to take the concept nation wide 1/1/1996
  3. Mr Wells volunteered to write the animal welfare bill  and in so doing  wrote  in sections to  facilitate his business venture  and to that end   there was a clause pertaining  to territorial bodies   No 1 bill
  4. Whilst Mr Wells was  employed as an independent advisor to the select committee he continued to communicate with Tom Didovich  and  passed on information which was  not in the public realm, to over come the hurdles   which would prevent  territorial bodies  form having an animal welfare role  17 September 1998.
  5. 5. The intention of the act was to exclude territorial bodies so Mr Wells came up with a concept of a trust. A good independent summary of what AWINZ and its back ground is  in this letter by MAF 24/12/1999 “To overcome legal and policy issues that  preclude local authorities having an animal Welfare role , Mr Wells has promoted the formation of a charitable trust called AWINZ, the trust deed states that its “principal purpose is to promote animal welfare”
  1. In  August 1999 Mr Wells   advises the   director general MAF of  his intention to apply for approved status for the trust which he states has been formed  by way of trust deed 22.8.199
  2. On 22 November 1999 Mr Wells makes an application for AWINZ to become an approved organisation again stating that  A charitable trust has been formed by Deed of Trust as the “Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand(AWINZ). It is being registered under Part II of the Charitable Trusts Act 1957”
    1. The significance of    registration under the charitable trust act is that it makes the  trust  which other wise   no more than a group of people with a common purpose  using a trading name , into a  body corporate( legal person )   which has perpetual existence , can sue and be sued .
    2. It should be noted that it takes just a few days to register a trust under the charitable trust act if the application complies with the act.
    3. In the period between August and November the trust   would have been incorporated if the statement in the August notice of intent was true.
    4. Mr Wells on this application makes out that AWINZ is a legal person in its own right (not even a trust deed exists at this time )
    5. In 2006 neither MAF nor Waitakere city council  had  a copy of the trust deed  for AWINZ  and  there as no record of it being incorporated  under any act.
      1. With others I formed a trust  called the animal welfare institute of new Zealand  and we succeeded in  registering it under  the  charitable trust act  there by proving that no other legal  person by that name existed.
      2. When Mr Wells   became aware of our existence a deed was produced it was dated 1/3/2000 which proves that the statements in August and November to the minister were untrue. ( this was the first time MAF had had a copy of  a deed )
      3. We were threatened with legal action   and were told to give up the name and our web site which expressed our concerns about the   unidentifiable   law enforcement agency which had   wide sweeping powers.
      4. We asked if we could meet trust to trust to resolve the issue  but Mr Wells and   two other persons  who were  not the same group as those named on the deed  ,sued me in an  attempt  to silence me and  make us give up the name so that   they could  commence a  cover up .
        1. These three people later combined with Mr Didovich the former manager animal welfare Waitakere City ( who had  witnessed and collected the signatures of the   trustees  for he alleged 2000 deed )  to sign a trust deed and  form a charity in 2007.
        2. Mr Didovich  also plays a key role in the RNZSPCA    and Mr Wells is also a  trustee  of the  Waikato SPCA trust  which  has  taken over  $400,000  charitable funds  from  the Waikato branch of the RNZSPCA , then  dropped the  corporate trustee RNZSPCA off the deed and  then formed an entity in its own right.. Evidence of this is available form public records Societies register and charities commission. I will happily provide more evidence on this if required.
        3. I have been held in the courts for  nearly  four years now  the court has been misled and manipulated and I was denied a defence, no evidence has ever  been presented by Mr Wells  who has used  his  victory in court to  portray me as a person who is obsessed in pursuit of him . My pursuit has been for justice and the fact that I questioned what I saw as a corrupt practice and I have been persecuted for it.
        4. I have  evidence which shows  that
          1. Mr Wells is manager animal welfare Waitakere city  Council
          2. As manager Animal welfare he is  both parties in an MOU with AWINZ .
          3. The dog control officers “volunteer” their services to AWINZ while on full council pay. ( 5 Jan 2000 ) Most are not aware of the significance of their double role.
          4. AWINZ operates  from  council premises  but council deny this   email 8 May 2000 wells claims  he leases the premises for $1 per year but the council letter 11 march 2009  par 13.AWINZ  claims they do not operate from the premises.
          5. AWINZ uses the same logo as displayed on the  council building for   public fundraising sent out with  dog registration except that it has the words institute of New Zealand written below the  animal welfare  sign.
          6. AWINZ undertakes animal welfare prosecutions , I have   documents for two such  matters  the latest one  came to my notice in the past few weeks
          7. Prosecution 1. As relayed to me  by the  person charged

This lady inherited her mothers elderly dog it had arthritis. Her mother had passed away tragically one month before Waitakere dog control officers picked it up from her back yard.

Without being contacted the dog was Euthanized because it was deemed to be suffering  due  to  arthritis

She phoned dog control in an attempt  to recover the dogs body so that she could  have   it cremated  and  interred with her  mother.

  1. The matter was reported to AWINZ Mr Wells who approved the matter for prosecution.
  2. Mr Wells passed it  on to AWINZ barrister   Mr Wells
  3. Mr Wells Barrister sought diversion   for a donation to a trust which neither existed nor was charitable   and money  was paid into a bank account in the name of Animal welfare institute of New Zealand, which was  under the sole control of Mr Wells.
  4. Prosecution 2    As relayed to me  by the  person charged

This young man     had a dog with Mange. He went to the vet and got medication. The dog had a relapse and he went back to the vet who would not give more medication due to the boy’s lack of funds.

When he arrived back  home the dog jumped  out of the car  and  sought refuge under a nearby house.  When the boy could not get the dog out Waitakere dog control were called .

  1. The matter was reported to the manager Animal welfare Waitakere city Mr Wells
  2. Mr Wells  council officer  passed it To Mr Wells CEO of the  now  newly  covered up AWINZ trust ( But not  being the  same  persons who were supposedly  the approved organisation )
  3. Mr Wells of AWINZ passes it to their barrister Mr Wells who prosecuted the matter before the court and   had $398 reparation ordered.

Issues relating to both these prosecutions

  1. I have  good reason to believe that these are not the only prosecutions  however these are two  which I can conclusively prove , it should be noted that in both cases   the time of the offending is over allegedly a two month period and  prosecutions were commenced 6 months after the  last date of the alleged offence.
  2. The offences under the animal welfare act are strict liability  ,  so even if the persons had a good defence   it is hard to produce evidence  after 8 months after the first date I, it is ironic  that   in  two prosecutions so far apart the  pattern is so similar.
  3. There is  no knowing  how many prosecutions actually occur and how many “ diversions” for donation are given , nor is there any ability to see where the money goes.

Strict liability

  1. Animal welfare legislation is already harsher than anything pertaining to  abuse of children. I use the following example.
    1. A mother who happens to be a  GP  went skiing  her son complained of a swore leg after a fall.  Because he could weigh bear on the leg he could ski on it.  The following week it was discovered that the leg was in fact fractured.
    2. Had this been a dog she would have been banned from owning another animal   and she would not have had any defence open to her. The offence being complete when she failed to recognise that the leg was broken.
    3. Animals   should not have greater protection than children and  there should  be an “intent “ ingredient brought back in the legislation .
    4. Most pet owners who see their animal   hobble in won’t dash off to the vet,  just as parents  whose child complains of an ache  won’t  necessarily dash off to a doctor.
      1. The injury    is often assessed over time and frequently by the next day the animal is fine.
      2. The risk for pet owners is that if an over zealous animal welfare inspector seeking to line the   pockets of their “ charity “ intervenes the owner  is  charged   on the  sole basis that the inspector   thinks the animal is  suffering.
      3. There is also the matter of costs of vet bills. The charity which we had set up, which Mr Wells effectively destroyed through litigation, was set up with intent of helping owners of injured animals  with  financial assistance  which could be repaid  later.
        1. People bond with their animals and just as you would not put your child down if their leg needed amputation or pinning it is often a decision which cash strapped owners face.
        2. There was a time  when  the RNZSPCA used to help with such matters  now     with  the  “ charities”  being run as businesses  it appears to  be  about collecting money and  not about providing service  .
        3. Mr Wells has  probably the best set up of all   unlike SPCA’s  he  has no overheads  , he uses the councils premises, staff ,vehicles ,resources  and even uses  council phones and email addresses and logos.  He Sends out donation form with dog registration and possibly   also prosecutes in council time.  The only administrative task left over is counting money and depositing it in the bank account he in 2006 had sole control of .
        4. Several RNZSPCA   volunteer inspectors have confided in me that they are concerned with the wealth that is being acquired  within the RNZSPCA and the corporate wages being paid at the top.
          1. I believe that  animal welfare has become not a matter of service  but a money making venture and I support this  with a poster which Mr Wells had on file in Waitakere city  .There is profit in animals .
          2. I am a former Police prosecutor and am aware of the economics of prosecutions.  A lawyer charges $350 per hour   so any penalty or diversion of less than three hours lawyers wages is more economical to pay than  to  defend . In our cash strapped society it is money which dictates the  plea.
            1. Middle income New Zealand have no right to justice to defend a simple animal welfare matter would cost several thousand dollars.
            2. Added to this is the fact that there is no   defence is possible any way because it is the opinion of the welfare officer if the animal was suffering.
            3. Suggested   action for the  animal welfare amendment bill
              1. More transparency and accountability of approved organisations -those who do the enforcing should be squeaky clean.
                1. i.       This is the only legislation which is enforced by private citizens.
                2. ii.      There needs to be independent assessment of every animal welfare charge   before it is sent to the court no one   should be able to wear all the hats as in the case of Mr Wells.
                3. iii.      Authority to prosecute should be obtained through MAF .
                4. iv.      Auditing and spot checks by independent assessors to evaluate those prosecutions are not being taken unjustly. Heavy penalties for abuse of this process.
                5. v.      Those who enforce need to be held accountable to truth honesty and transparency.
  2. Giving Private trusts the ability to enforce the law is like giving an open cheque book especially when   they cannot be held accountable as in the case of AWINZ where the “approved organisation” effectively does not exist .
  3. Penalties for making   false claims as to approve status.
    1. i.            The penalty for making a false statement for the purpose of establishing an approved organisation  should be a prison  term  .
    2. ii.             No organisation should be approved unless a  statutory declaration  has been  filed,( Which would  bring its own legal protection ).And some one has  checked to see if it exists beyond paper.
  1. Animal welfare is the only law enforcement   sector where  civilians , non  government employees  are entrusted with   wide powers
    1. It is effectively a private prosecution and law enforcement service but there is  no register of  animal welfare inspectors and who they are responsible to ,
    2. Private investigators and  security Guards do not have powers more than an any civilian  , in fact Private investigators have less rights than the average person  ( we cant take photos or record  voice recordings )   yet we have
      1. to advertise our intention to be Licenced each year,
      2. we have to be re apply and pay a licence fee
      3. we have to be approved by  the registrar
      4. we have to have a security clearance
      5. we are subject to a  hearing if  some one  objects to our renewal
      6. we appear on a publicly available database so our licence can be verified at any time.
  2. But   animal welfare inspectors  who have wide powers are not subjected to these controls  and have no real process of individual accountability other than to the approved organisation which recommended them  and the average person would  no know   where to begin to look.
  3. There is no independent accountability of  animal welfare officers , no process for  disciplinary hearings  and it would appear that as law enforcers  and being  civilians  they  have all power and very little  accountability.
  4. As has been shown in the case of AWINZ , there is no transparency  or accountability to the enforcers and consideration should be given to  a complete review of the  way animal welfare legislation is enforced.
  5. I have further concerns with respect to the confusion of the SPCA and he RNZSPCA , those in the RNZSPCA claim that the SPCA is different  and the SPCA claim that they are not the RNZSPCA, so where do they get their   legal powers from, only the RNZSPCA is an approved organisation . Every one of them is chasing the  dollar  if they really cared about  animal they would  provide  treatment  and assistance to those who love their pets but are financially embarrassed.
  6. Because these organisations are private enforcement authorities, all with  people at the top  wanting corporate wages ,   it has  become  a nest feathering exercise  for all but the  volunteers , those  who need the money do without  ,  which in this day and age makes them a dying breed,
  7. The  current system  is easily be abused  and there is no accountability for the  fines  which  can  very easily disappear into personal accounts and  to that end  all animal welfare fines  should  be paid into a  public purse   so that those who care about animals    act  for their concern   for the animal  and  not act out of pecuniary advantage.

I am happy to make personal submissions on this matter and assist you  with  information for any investigations  you  deem necessary.

I am a verification specialist  and will be happy to assist in  setting up  a system which will make the enforcement of animal welfare   more transparent accountable and just.

Thank you

Grace Haden

Licenced Private Investigator

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6 Comments

  1. […] , the comments are valid to the legislation  being considered My  submission is posted at https://anticorruptionnz.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/submission-to-the-select-committee/ yet the committee  claims that my  submission will be rejected By stating   The committee will […]

    Pingback by Submissions too hot for select committee and rejected unlawfully « Anticorruptionnz's Blog — 19/03/2010 @ 6:26 am

  2. Your work and findings are compelling, I am aghast that should your investigation be further investigated, and your finding seen to be well founded, then Mr Wells should certainly be taken to task and investigated by his peers.

    I am an analyst and would entertain investigation into Mr Wells psyche. I have 30 years experience and have to my credit well in excess of 100,000 case studies with an accuracy of 90% +.

    I will contact you via your information as provided and support your cause to make transparent that which is not. “In a court of law, when two parties are in argument, when one party is lying, both parties know who it is”.

    Keep up the good work and don’t let the heavies push you further.

    Comment by P Vaughan — 19/03/2010 @ 9:32 am

  3. Good on you for posting your submission and your findings on the net for everyone to judge. Glad to see the truth about these ‘charity workers’ revealed. We have a story about Tom Didovich, and his involvement in the theft of a horse in Carterton.
    Interesting comment about the psych analysis. We have found that one of the main causes of the social problems (high crime, suicide, child abuse, etc,) stem from an institutionalised control over the local social services and community organisations, etc, by certain narrow minded, incompetent, dishonest and self serving individuals, who attend each other’s AGMs and vote for each other, excluding outsiders by arresting them for “trespass”, etc.
    This is not democracy, or transparent government.
    This is Corruption. Slack employment practices in NZ have led to Linda Astor, a government psychiatrist, who turned out to be (a) not a Psychiatrist, and (b) not a woman, who let a mental patient out into the community shortly before he murdered his girlfriend and cut off her head, and Mary Anne Thompson of the Immigration Department.
    I worked for MAF and was amazed at the incompetence and corruption, and will update you regarding those matters and totally support you in pursuing and promoting this issue.
    Keep up the good work and don’t let them win, there has to be transparency and accountability.

    Comment by Kate Raue — 20/03/2010 @ 8:30 am

  4. […] the  committee  considering the legislation  appears to kept in the dark  and  I can see why  my  submission had to be  […]

    Pingback by Select committee and press appear to be in the dark about the reality of animal welfare « Anticorruptionnz's Blog — 02/05/2010 @ 3:37 am

  5. […] RNZSPCA  I have identified the one  above    about which there is more information in  Submission to the select committee where  I  wrote […]

    Pingback by RNZSPCA Waikato asks ratepayers to fund their bad bookkeeping. « Anticorruptionnz's Blog — 05/02/2011 @ 3:58 pm


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