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Scott Free

Warning to International Investors: New Zealand's Railroad to Injustice

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New Zealand likes to portray itself as a modern business-friendly location for wealthy investors looking to immigrate. This portrayal is certainly a dangerous illusion which can lead to disaster if one puts all their 'eggs' in this 'one basket.'

Writing as a long-time immigrant here, thanks to marriage to a local, I have experienced first hand the behind the scenes corruption the NZ government will dish out to anyone who has the temerity to stand up for their rights.

In my case a private trust made a minor investment in an offshore scheme which fell over when the government shut it down, claiming it as a Ponzi scheme. As the operator dropped dead the day before he was going to 'prove the Crown wrong' in court, we will probably never know the truth. However, it appears to have been a questionable investment where principal was returned and therefore there was no income.

Hundreds of trusts who had invested were viciously attacked by the IRD. Old folks lost their homes, men of 75 had to return to menial work to survive. The trust I was involved with filed proper IR6 returns which the IRD ignored. An initial 'default assessment' of $1500 or so which by operation of NZ legislation should have been put to rest by the filing of the IR6s has now many years later ballooned to almost a million dollars.

In the process my late wife committed suicide (2007) in large part due to fear of the IRD making up outrageous amounts in 'trying to steal our farm', and when I complained to the Commissioner and the Minister of Revenue I was met with extreme evasiveness, lies and stonewalling. Official Information Act requests were sometimes partially responded to, always late. At one point I asked under the OIA what exact law was the alleged debt being claimed under, as no proper assessments were ever disclosed by the IRD. The ever-evasive Office of the Commissioner (in a different building than the Commissioner's actual office!?) replied that they had twenty days to decide whether or not they would provide an answer. About 30 days later they referred to a letter of years earlier which didn't answer the question. A tail chasing exercise, which from the logical point of view confirms that there never was any proper tax claim against the trust.

It was also discovered that the IRD was sending certain correspondence to a very old personal address, from years before the trust was even settled while concurrently they were corresponding directly at a current address. This was to make it look like we weren't responding. I filed a OIA request to find out who came up with that strategy and was met with more direct lies.

One thing is for sure, the Office of the Commissioner is incapable of providing direct answers or telling the truth. The Minister, Peter Dunne, avoided everything, even when I asked him directly to handle matters in his office since the Commissioner was being so evasive. Mr Dunne merely forwarded that letter to the Commissioner. And they have the nerve to call these people "Honourable"!!!

The IRD racket is, that if you fall out of someone's favour, they have an 'investigator' make up false numbers to scare you into some sort of action. My accountant at the time, a former IRD agent, told me that she was offered a job in investigations, but after starting in that department she quit in horror and disgust at what she termed "sociopathic behaviour". The 'investigators' would seek out easy victims and then make up large assessments (her experience was in the 1990s) usually forcing some sort of settlement as the dispute process is convoluted and intentionally difficult to navigate. I asked if they received commissions on receipts, she said that no, they weren't allowed commissions by law, so they got 'salary enhancement packages' on the loot they garnered through their unethical behaviour.

So you get a made up assessment, plucked from thin air with not one person anywhere who actually signed a piece of paper and did a proper calculation. Then the IRD takes you to the District Court, where the judge is not allowed to query the 'assessment' (section 109 of the Tax Administration Act), so you lose before you get in, a rigged game.

Then if you can't pay, which in my case the amount was near $900,000 at the time (outrageously out of proportion to anything I ever earned), you are taken to the High Court in bankruptcy proceedings.

Now this is an interesting experience which I hope nobody reading this ever has to deal with. In my case I did a part 5 voluntary insolvency, all done properly. The IRD never responded to being served to produce proof of debt. When I went to court to have the insolvency sealed the IRD was there and Associate Judge Christiansen ignored the facts before him and let the IRD get their way, even though it was clearly against court rules and statute. I was shocked at his mean temperament and avoidance of proper procedure, he was certainly out to get me regardless of fact, law and procedure.

I filed several motions trying to get more info out of the IRD, the matter ended up before Associate Judge Bell who declared the bankruptcy with open unheard motions before the court. He tried to convince me that they had been heard, but the fact remains that there is no evidence anywhere in the High Court records that the filed motions were heard. If I was wrong and overruled I can accept that, but to dodge around them and get lies from the bench, that is another, and should be of concern to any intelligent honest man or woman.

The bankruptcy action was against me "as trustee" of a trust. But when Bell declared the bankruptcy a notice that I was personally bankrupt was sent to the Official Assignee. I went to the High Court registrar's office and pointed out the error. The registrar apologised for the error and sent a corrected notice to the OA.

The Official Assignee refuses to acknowledge that it was a trust made bankrupt and has persistently attempted to force me into acting as though the bankruptcy was personal. Even though it was clear that I was railroaded by corruption I told the OA that I would comply if I was properly noticed as per the alleged adjudication "as trustee". I was never served properly in any capacity.

Then I was charged with the horrendous CRIME of not filling out a Statement of Affairs "without reasonable excuse". It appears that reliance on NZ Statute is definitely not a "reasonable excuse" for not obeying aberrant and ignorant govt officials. Currently facing up to 12 months in jail for this sordid offence!

Here is an edited paste from the Declaration I submitted with a Statement of Affairs to avoid prosecution:

I have against my free will, been compelled to sign the attached “Statement of Affairs” (Exhibit “A”) from the Ministry of Economic Development outside the capacity of the bankruptcy adjudication of JOE BLOGGS AS TRUSTEE IN THE XYZ TRUST, therefore said “Statement of Affairs” Exhibit “A” is signed affirmed and protested under duress per minas.

It is my sincere belief that the Registrar of the High Court at Auckland and the Ministry of Economic Development via the Official Assignee have made numerous material errors of fact and form and as a consequence of these errors there is no basis in law for the demands against me or this Summons by Information (Attached as Exhibit “B”) initiated by an Informant unknown to me.

The multiple errors are:

1. As I understand due process, the High Court Rules require that judgments be signed, sealed and served before they can be acted upon. High Court Rule 11.13(1) states that “A step may be taken on a judgment before it is sealed only with the leave of a Judge.” There is no record nor is it claimed that a Judge has given such leave.

2. Never was a signed and sealed judgment been served upon me in any legal capacity. There has been no suggestion that the judgment was ever signed and sealed. The Informant’s unsigned Summary of Facts filed with the Summons Exhibit “B” does not claim service of a sealed judgment, nor a sealed order.

3. Without a signed, sealed and served Order of Adjudication of Bankruptcy in Form B16 no steps can be taken by the Official Assignee. In pursuing this matter in present form the Official Assignee is acting improperly, perhaps mistakenly, but certainly ultra vires of its statutory powers and obligations rather than correctly or properly adhering to either the spirit or the letter of the law as required.

4. There being no service of an original Form B16 sealed order as required, the Official Assignee appears to be acting in error by relying upon a notice from the Registrar of the High Court pursuant to Section 58 of the Insolvency Act as being equivalent to a signed, sealed and served Form B16 order.

5. In my case the Official Assignee received the Section 58 Notice in the name adjudicated “BLOGGS Joseph as Trustee in the XYZ Trust”. (Attached as exhibit “C”.) In error the Official Assignee has failed to abide by the terms of said Section 58 Notice “C” from the High Court, and it has not addressed any notices, correspondence or requests to the capacity of the legal person subject to adjudication.

6. I took advice at the time from a retired Crown prosecutor, who spoke as a friend and wishes to remain anonymous, that the Official Assignee is bound to address the exact legal person as is stated in an Order of Adjudication (which I have not seen in this matter) as notified by the Registrar of the High Court as being subject to bankruptcy. The Official Assignee must act in accordance with the authority granted in statute and is restrained by it. The Official Assignee’s Office is not free and loose to “conjure up names” of alleged bankrupts nor arbitrarily extend its own jurisdiction but rather must precisely conform and operate within the limits of its statutory obligations due to it only being a creation of statute and not a real person.

7. Said counsel also explained to me how a trust should properly be bankrupted, his explanation conforming to logic and law: The trust is named as the debtor, and then the trustees are added as respondents. The trust should then be wound up similar to a company and if the trustee is not indemnified by the deed to the limits of the realisable value of the trust corpus, then he or she then becomes responsible for excess debt remaining after trust assets are liquidated. To style it so bluntly as the IRD did in process provides that only trust assets are potentially at risk with nothing personal to the trustee, yet the Official Assignee mistakenly treats this matter solely as a personal bankruptcy.

8. No approaches, requests or demands have ever been made from the Official Assignee nor any agent deputised by the Official Assignee to the legal person adjudicated bankrupt. That is “BLOGGS Joseph as Trustee in the XYZ Trust”.

9. Indeed, Summons “B” is addressed to a third legal name, “Joseph William Bloggs”, in respect of which the Official Assignee has never received any Section 58 Notification,

10. The Official Assignee has never served on me a notice in any legal capacity that complies with Section 68(1)(b) Form 1 of the Insolvency (Personal Insolvency) Regulations 2007. Nor has the Official Assignee ever claimed to have served such notice on the legal person subject to bankruptcy.

11. I stated from the inception of the Official Assignee’s deputy or agent Marc Graham contact with me that I would fill out the form if and when I was properly noticed in the adjudicated capacity, which seems entirely reasonable if law is to have true value. Mr Graham responded that it doesn’t make any difference, without him providing any statutory reference or grounds whatsoever for such an imprecise claim.

It is my experience that some officials appear ignorant of their responsibilities and fail to administer the law according to the proper terms and provisions contained within their authorising statutes. The Official Assignee has clearly not acted within its statutory powers in this matter, correct procedure according to the statutory rules has not been followed.

I understand that by virtue of section 67(8) of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 the burden of proof is reversed with the informant having to prove absolutely nothing while I on the other hand would be burdened with the impossible task of proving the negative. I am also aware from other matters and counsel that my election for trial by jury which is guaranteed in statute is likely to be denied me.

Having lost confidence in the integrity of the judicial process and under direct threat of imprisonment I have filled out the Statement “A” to the best of my knowledge and ability according to the apparent tenor of the adjudication despite knowing that the alleged bankruptcy does not exist at law and that I have simply been coerced per minas into agreeing to a voluntary bankruptcy.
And of course the OA has decided to continue to pursue the failure to file "without reasonable excuse" prosecution. When I spoke with the Ministry of Economic Development 'investigator' following my forced filing of the Statement, he said that the prosecution had to continue because that was what "Crown Law" ordered. Yet when I first went to court and spoke with the lawyer from Crown Law and asked that the matter be rescinded, I was told that they couldn't because they were under orders from the same investigator. So somebody is lying, which at this point shouldn't be a very big surprise to the reader.

So what is the point of the prosecution? Good question that nobody seems able to answer. My take is that it is punishment for expecting government officials to act properly and follow statute precisely. Please don't laugh too hard! This mess started in 2005, now it is 2012. My health has seriously deteriorated, any and all business and productivity has been ruined. What does one do after years in court with corrupt officials who act with clinically defined sociopathic behaviour? Nobody has ever shown that I have actually violated any statute, and nobody in government has ever responded directly to my queries and filings regarding the exact application of the laws. They probably can't afford to, it would expose their racket.

And that's what the New Zealand government appears to be, a racket. For example if you are taken to the High Court and it appears you get a "Judgment", what you actually get is a letter from the Registrar which states that here is a Judgment of High Court Justice William Soandso under High Court Rule 11.5; yet if you examine the alleged judgment, not only is it not signed by a High Court Judge or Justice (it will be signed "SOANDSO J"), it definitely does not conform to rule 11.5. If you don't believe me then check for yourself, I have a few of them. I've written the registrar on this and have not had the courtesy of response. In common vernacular one would term this "racketeering" instead of "justice."

As this is all still in motion I will continue to update this. I have naturally left a lot of the story out for brevity, as I want to get the main message out. If you are thinking of investing or immigrating to New Zealand, please think twice. The common people here are awesome, it is a lovely country. But there is no justice in the courts, and if you fall foul of some petty bureaucrat you will spend years of wasted time and certainly be left wondering at how so many people in government can act so dishonestly. Are they brainwashed or rather in some secret club where the rewards for destroying the fabric of society are unknown and unfathomable to the average man or woman?

The World Justice Project somehow mistakenly rates New Zealand as one of the least corrupt jurisdictions: ... it's obvious that their level of investigation is either incompetent or they are simply part of the global coverup, as NZ is certainly not the only country where these problems of judicial corruption exist.

So all things considered, don't put all your eggs in this basket!

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  1. Matt Sheriff's Avatar
    Wow, this is really terrible! I've found Courts are un-just, the Judge believes who puts on the biggest act in Court & disregards the law (eg, admits hearsay evidence). The Courts are getting like in Nazi Germany - they ring the local Kommissar to get their rulings! People are really doomed - there's no choice but to play along or risk ruin!