Anticorruptionnz's Blog

16/04/2010

Who can be an approved Organisation.. Back door wide open to legislative powers.

Filed under: corruption,SPCA / RNZSPCA,transparency — anticorruptionnz @ 10:24 pm

The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill is  currently being  considered by the Primary Production Committee, with view of reporting back to parliament or before 30 April 2010.

I made a submission to this  bill pointing out that we  currently had organisations  such as AWINZ ( which is a legal fiction ) administering  the Bill. But my  submission was too embarrasing to them  (because it pointed out  the lack of independence of their  independent advisor) and was   thrown out.

The other approved organisation   is the RNZSPCA  but  just exactly who or what is the RNZSPCA

I have a very serious issue with regards to  what an approved organisation is  and how simple it  is to become one,apparently just by knowing the right people  and without involvement of MAF or the minister.

First we have to understand what an approved Organisation is

An approved organisation – means an organisation declared, under section 121, to be an approved organisation for the purposes of this Act( animal welfare Act)

The act   by section 189 provides for transitional provisions and states   “The organisation known as the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Incorporated is an approved organisation for the purposes of this Act.”

The act  does not define the RNZSPCA  but Section 190 of the animal welfare act states “Any incorporated society that is a branch or member of the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Incorporated may, through that royal society (in its capacity as an approved organisation) recommend persons—

  • (a) for appointment under section 124 as inspectors; or
  • (b) for appointment under section 125 as auxiliary officers.”

It  is interesting that this  is in the act when in the discussion papers of the select committee at the time of considering the animal welfare act they said this ..

We have some concern that SPCA member societies  are not directly accountable to the national body ( unlike branches ) this means that there is no direct line of accountability from member societies to the crown. The bill addresses this to some extent  by requiring that  inspectors of member societies can be appointed only under the recommendation of the RNZSPCA. Further  member societies will only continue to be deemed” approved “ organisations under the act if they  continue to be affiliated with the RNZSPCA  and while the RNZSPCA itself  remains an approved Organisation . we accept that to go further  and require affiliated societies to merge with the  RNZSPCA would not be appropriate. “

In the document written by Neil Wells and used as a training manual for inspectors he states “ Inspectors have considerable  coercive powers, and it is  important that such powers are exercised in an impartial and informed way. In deciding whether to recognise an organisation the bill provides that the minister must be satisfied that an organisation meets specific criteria ……”

There are  two wasy to become an  approved organisation

1. Through application to the minister Like AWINZ did   and succeeded  despite not  existing in reality

Or 2  by being affiliated or a branch of the RNZSPCA.

But who is affiliated and who is a branch.. Look at  the RNZSPCA web site and  they all appear  as Branches   but   they are not all branches  many are SPCA’s    and  according to the   official sources as quoted above are not directly accountable to the RNZSPCA .

And why  does the RNZSPCA  call itself  SPCA  and  its  branches SPCA branches ?  is it because it is trying to look like one organisation  when in reality  it is   a whole group of  societies .

If there is a document which  combines the  societies  why  is  it not publicly available, when was it signed  who were the parties to  it , how do    societies become affiliated? How are new ones   set up  can any one start a new SPCA ?

Can you change your name   and become an SPCA and become an approved organisation through back door , it would appear so

In 1999  when AWINZ( a trading name )   applied in that name to  become an approved Organisation   and succeeded without proof  that  the organisation  actually exists, there was another organisation  which also applied  , it  at least was  an incorporated society    this was the INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR THE PROTECTION OF HORSES (NEW ZEALAND) INCORPORATED

I believe it now It  now has its own inspectors  , and attained this through   a simple change of name  on 11-NOV-2008  when it  became the SPCA AUCKLAND HORSE WELFARE AUXILIARY INCORPORATED   . It apparently  comes under  the umbrella of the  e SPCA   Auckland  which  is a member society  of the RNZSPCA , but the RNZSPCA uses the   logo which  it has trademarked being SPCA.

Will this mean that   any group  changing its name to  SPCA   and affiliating  with the RNZSPCA can  employ its own  animal welfare inspectors    who in turn  can use the  wide sweeping  powers that the animal welfare act  gives them    so that they can prosecute  people    for strict liability offences and  collect the  money for  doing so paying up will be  cheaper than trying to defend it .

Is this a possibility for the likes of  dog  contractors to   Auckland city council  to become  member societies of the SPCA and be  appointed  inspectors under  the act?

Looks like a good money making venture to me. section 171 allows  for   the penalties to be paid to  the organisation which prosecuted now we are calling for greater penalties, which is not something I oppose  but   before we increase penalties  we have to  ensure that the structure and integrity is there, we are setting up a law enforcement service with very little accountability .

Is law  enforcements as a primary duty of the RNZSPCA , its member societies and  branches in the best interest of the relationship  between people and animals?

Do we need to   prosecute   those who  through poverty ,illness or lack of intent  neglect their  animals… those people  need help  not  fines… see   the example of what happened in Britain recently

Where was the SPCA  when people brought their attention to  animals which were suffering  ? seehttp://www.4thehorse.net.nz/ and    the issue  where Waikato  branch had failed to address  dying animals

There is  such a thing as   economy in   law enforcement, where it is cheaper to pay up than to defend the matter     will this be practiced by the  RNZSPCA., branches  and  SPCA’s ?     Got to be a better fundraiser than cold calling.

And where is the accountability ?????    It would appear approved organisations  can grow  disproportionately  all without any  in put and control of   central government.

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3 Comments

  1. […] member societies  , the  agreements  between these  bodies are not of public record  and it appears  from the recent example that the back door to appointment of  Inspectors is wide […]

    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

  2. […] Because of  the overlap with the RNZSPCA   and  involvement with Neil Wells   with the Waikato SPCA trust I asked questions  of the RNZSPCA and the SPCA   which  still appear to be  operating under the transitional   part of the act  and   appear to be taking on approved organisations through the back door. […]

    Pingback by Update for the ombudsmen AWINZ SPCA will you investigate? « Anticorruptionnz's Blog — 18/09/2010 @ 9:54 am

  3. […] Because of  the overlap with the RNZSPCA   and  involvement with Neil Wells   with the Waikato SPCA trust I asked questions  of the RNZSPCA and the SPCA   which  still appear to be  operating under the transitional   part of the act  and   appear to be taking on approved organisations through the back door. […]

    Pingback by Update AWINZ SPCA « Anticorruptionnz's Blog — 18/09/2010 @ 9:59 am


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