Note; there’s a small technical glitch and some of the text in the Jon Edwards report is missing we’re working on the problem, in more ways than just one.
Over the past two months, in our ongoing investigation of New Zealand’s Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA), Lauda Finem has received a number of “brown envelopes”. One of those parcels contained information and documents that related to the hiring of yet another ex-cop, the disgraced former head of Police Standards, Inspector Jonathon Moss.
We have since discovered that there had been a big brouhaha in 2010 when this Inspector Moss was outed and a criminal investigation into his behavior commenced:
There had also been an earlier investigation into Moss’ behaviour which culminated in his departure from the police force, a hurried departure which we now believe may have been designed to terminate the investigation and protect a third party.
This the first of two investigations came about because there had been allegations that Moss had suborned perjury; a subordinate officer was allegedly asked by Moss to lie about his involvement in an assault. Yet another case of the bashing of a prisoner in the back of a police van – more of the police brutality that this particular police force has become renowned for.
It had also also been alleged that Moss had breached a new police code of conduct , a code that Moss himself had been instrumental in drafting and implementing following a commission of inquiry into police conduct.
That inquiry, conducted by Dame Margaret Bazley was highly critical of New Zealand’s police force; especially their preocupation with corruption and rapes, behaviour that New Zealand’s infamous police officers have been found guilty of committing time and time again, and have also grown oh so fond of attempting to conceal:
Interestingly in the second investigation into Moss the then commissioner of Police, Howard Broad, fudged the interview and gave no indication as to whether Moss’s recent alleged offending had occurred whilst he was still in the police force or working at the REAA:
Police Commissioner Howard Broad this morning announced a criminal investigation.
He said it had emerged that either before or after he left the police, Mr Moss “may have had a relationship with an official of another agency with links to police”.
“The propriety of that relationship has caused disquiet,” Mr Broad said.
Whilst another woman, Deborah Te Kawa, later came forward in 2011 claiming an extramarital affair with Moss we believe that there was yet another woman involved with Moss, a woman that both Moss and the New Zealand police are still trying to protect.
If the information that Lauda Finem has received, as to the identity of that third person, is genuine then its a damning indictment on the REAA, its chair, the board and the authorities staff.
By way of explaination, with this post we thought it necessary to start at the end of the story. Following the outing of Moss as an employee of the REAA Ms Kristy McDonald QC, Chairperson of the REAA’s Board, very cleverly commissioned a report, which in our veiw was designed to conceal more than it revealed.
Having read the report and then referring to the documents we’ve been given we genuinely believe that the report was designed as a white-wash; with no purpose other than the exculpation of the key players, we also believe that the real victim in this matter was Ms Janet Mazenier, the executive registrar at the time, its our view that she had been made the scape-goat and was then hung out to dry, so to speak, possibly when she decided not take part in a cover-up .
Again interestingly the spokesperson for the REAA at the time, Dan Ormond, also failed to comment on whether or not Ms Mazenier’s hurried departure from the REAA was in anyway related to the “jobs for the boy’s scandal”, a conspiracy that, in Australia at least, would most certainly have been considered serious corruption:
Authority spokesman Dan Ormond told NZPA that Mr Moss was staying at the REAA and would not be stood down or taking leave while the review was conducted.
Asked if the resignation of REAA chief executive Janet Mazenier was related to Mr Moss’ conduct, Mr Ormond declined to comment.
As a statutory body, which is to be found “under the umbrella” of New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice, the REAA and its employee’s are bound by a code of conduct. However, this fact seems to have been overlooked by some very senior employees of the Authority and the Minister responsible who, in the absence of any plausible excuse, have and continue to act corruptly.
Based on the evidence we have seen and the opinions sought from senior investigators, including retired Australian police officers, this corrupt behaviour appears to be systemic, with key employees and CAC members all engaging in tactics obviously designed to conceal the criminal offending of colleagues, friends and politicians.
Our own research brings into question the suitability of a number of the key office holders within the REAA, and this is the first in a number of posts in which we will begin to deal with that very gnarly problem.
Over the past two months following our post, Open letter to New Zealand’s real estate agents, we have had a number of cases brought to our attention by people that have asked to remain anonymous, stating that they fear for their own personal safety, if named.
Now back to ex-cop Inspector Jonathan Moss and the story of his employment with the REAA. As said earlier, the REAA chairperson, Kristy McDonald QC (also a member of the Crown prosecution panel in Wellington and the Serious Fraud Office prosecution panel) commissioned a report subsequent to the Medias discovery that the disgraced ex-cop Moss was working as a senior investigator with the Authority.
In that report we found a number of glaringly obvious attempts, which in our view were designed to manipulate the outcome, to steer the investigation toward a favorable finding; so as to exculpate the key stakeholders, those people who should have shouldered the blame, the individuals that were really behind the hiring of Jonathan Moss. Amongst the reports content you will find our observations and serious concerns in blue text:
1. This independent review has been commissioned by the Chair (Kristy McDonald QC) of the Real Estate Agents Authority, on behalf of the Board in order to seek clarification as to the appointment process, as a result of questions being raised about the process of appointment of Mr Jonathan Moss to a senior position within the Authority.
Terms of Reference
2.The terms of reference are simply to “undertake a review of the employment process of the Senior Manager, Enforcement, and provide a report detailing your findings”.
3. For the purposes of this review, I have:
Reviewed all relevant documentation including email correspondence referring to the appointment process;
Met with and interviewed key parties, including former Chief Executive, Janet Mazenier, Dean Winter, Steve Haszard and Johnny Gowland of Power House People
Spoken by telephone to Mr Moss for clarification of some issues. Reviewed relevant REAA policies and available material on best practice in recruitment.
In our view the investigator, John Edwards LLB, at this point in his report had already started to mislead the intended audience, he has not interviewed all of the key players in this fiasco, both Mr Jon Duffy and Dave Stewart were very much intigral. Both men, undoubtedly ex-cops, should have been interviewed. Both men had hands on roles in recruiting Jonathan Moss, to the extent that they were both pushing for Moss to be appointed to the position.
They no doubt also played a large part in advising Janet Mazenier on Moss’s suitability, Mazenier had absolutely no experience in this field and as such would have relied heavily on both men and Kristy McDonald for their advice and opinions. The fact that Duffy and Stewart had departed the REAA, as had Janet Mazenier, who was interviewed, is completely irrelevant and in our view extremely suspicious. We believe that its likely both men refused or had been instructed not to co-operate – we’ve seen it all before!
4. Two key personnel, Mr Jon Duffy and Mr Dave Stewart, have not been interviewed as part of this process. Mr Duffy was employed by the Authority at the relevant times, and was directly involved in the initial assessment of Mr Moss’ application to be employed as an investigator, but has subsequently left the organisation. Mr Stewart is out of the country until the end of July.
Email records are available which illustrate the involvement of the former, and Mr Stewart has provided the Authority with a written record of his involvement. Findings
• The appointment process was an commonplace operational matter, managed by the Chief Executive and her senior staff.
• The recruitment occurred at a very busy time, during the establishment phase of the Authority. Many priorities vied for the attention of senior management, including establishing processes and procedures for investigations, training staff and dealing with an “avalanche of complaints” which created an unanticipated workload.
• The recruitment of Mr Moss to a senior management position occurred in two stages. He was initially hired on a fixed term contract into the position of investigator, and later applied for and was appointed to the position of Senior Manager‐Enforcement.
• At each stage Mr Moss made full disclosure of the circumstances of his departure from Police, and the fact that a criminal inquiry was under way into an allegation that he had asked a person with whom he was in a
relationship to lie about an alleged assault. Mr Moss was at all times anxious to avoid any embarrassment to the Authority.
• The two stage process, and the fact that Mr Moss approached the Authority directly, rather than through a recruitment firm, created some confusion as to whether reference checking had been undertaken and whose role it was to do it.
• There were some departures from best practice however any such irregularities were not material in this case, and did not affect the outcome or result in any unfairness to any other candidate. In other words, had the process been a text book example, it is likely that Mr Moss would have been appointed to both positions.
• Mr Moss appeared on paper, and at interview to be the most highly qualified candidate for the position. The review has found no impropriety in the recruitment process.
• This review has found no reason to impugn the decision to employ Mr Moss, either initially as an investigator, or subsequently as Senior Manager –Enforcement.
5. Early in 2010 the REAA management identified a need to recruit more investigators to cope with a greater than expected workload.
6. Recruitment of investigators was the role of John Duffy and Dean Winter. On 29 January they instructed PowerHousePeople (“PHP”), a human resources firm, to assist in recruiting two investigators. Johnny Gowland from PHP advertised the positions, received and reviewed CVs, and undertook preliminary interviews of 12 candidates. Of those 12 he selected 4 as suitable
for participating in a panel interview.
7. Steven Haszard, a solicitor from Meredith Connell in Auckland had been advising the REAA from November 2009 to January 2010. Meredith Connell, which holds the Crown Solicitor warrant for Auckland, had acted for the predecessor to the REAA, the Real Estate Agent’s Licensing Board, and was ideally placed to assist the REAA in its establishment and implementationphases. In February, the Chief Executive, Janet Mazenier asked Mr Haszard to oversee the Authority’s investigations function, for three to four days per week.
8. A colleague of Mr Haszard’s from Meredith Connell was a former professional associate
of Mr Moss. She had spoken to Mr Moss of Mr Haszard’s work, and of the fact that they were recruiting investigators.
9. On 2 March Mr Moss sent Mr Haszard an email which said:
Hi Steve – I was talking to Sarn Herdson tonight and she mentioned that you are doing some work for the Real Estates Agents Authority in Wellington.
I believe you are aware of the circumstances of my retirement from Police in that Sarn briefed you so that you were across any risk to Meredith Connell. I am now starting to look for employment and I did notice Investigators jobs with the Authority in the last week or two. I think the jobs have been taken down now though.
This is just a query – as an experienced senior investigator, as to whether the Authority are interested in considering me either in a role or perhaps as a (cheap) contractor, perhaps.
I am also familiar with the complaints/investigations process for Police and IPCA and so understand the requirements for the various levels of complaint/issues. If you would rather not be involved in this that is fine, I can go direct to the Authority.
I can send a CV.
Its quite clear that Moss has a “special” relationship with Herdson, after all he was chatting to her that night, over coffee, on the phone or was it pillow talk?
10. Mr Haszard replied the same day, saying:
“Hi Jon. Your email is timely. If you send me your CV I will happily pass it on to those who matter.”
Indeed his email was timely. it should be noted, Sarn Herdson, was at this time, employed by Mr Steven Haszard’s team of Crown Solicitors, Meredith Connell in Auckland, was Jonathan Moss in Auckland at the time he sent this email? We’re not sure but we do have more evidence of Moss’s later visits to Auckland, visiting Sarn and Meredith Connell.
11. Mr Moss responded with an email to which his CV was attached. In the covering email he said:
Without overstating the situation, I would ask that you brief Kristy McDonald or the CEO on my application and situation. I do not want to embarrass her the Authority (sic) especially in its infancy.
12. Mr Moss included as referees, Assistant Commissioner Viv Rickard, and Mr Wayne Annan, General Manager Human Resources NZ Police. Mr Haszard forwarded the email and CV to the Chief Executive on the afternoon of 3 March. His email said “Now this is a CV”. By that he meant that Mr Moss’ CV had stood out in terms of quality and experience, from others he had seen submitted for the investigator roles.
Moss also stood out as a result of the abuse of his position as a police officer, seriously dysfunctional libido and bed hopping antics, all of which must have been known to Steven Haszard, Sarn Herdson and Kristy McDonald QC, especially the later two women who were clearly (given there apparent knowledge of his “wonderful and lovely” nature) good “friends” with Moss. Sarn Herdson, now a coroner, apparently had a really big thing for cops, she still does, we’ve been told that she’s in a relationship with yet another senior cop who’s also resigned, Inspector Gary Davey, not from the police force per-say, just his local area command, if its true it’s a bit of a concern.
Source: Aisling officer quits over police morale (3rd August 2011, New Zealand Herald)
14. Mr Haszard briefed the Chief Executive on Mr Moss’ circumstances, namely, that he had left the Police during an employment investigation into a relationship with a colleague (which had been reported in the media at the time), and that a complaint had been made to and was being investigated by Police that he had been a party to an assault in a Police van, and that he had asked an officer to lie about his involvement.
Source: Senior policeman resigns over old work affair (26th September 2009, New Zealand Herald)
15. The Chief Executive passed on the CV to John Duffy and Dean Winter with instructions to add him to the pool. She did not advise them of the circumstances of his departure from the Police, or of the extant inquiry into his conduct. Her explanation for this is entirely reasonable. She thought that Mr Moss had disclosed personal information and that that information was
not relevant to the interview panel. Had the panel found Mr Moss not suitable for the position, based on his qualifications, experience, of perception of “fit” with the organisation, the disclosure would have been for nought. The Chief Executive also had a brief exchange of text messages with the Chair, knowing that the Chair had had a number of professional dealings with senior Police. The Chair, who did not know Mr Moss in a personal capacity, but was aware of his professional reputation through her work with
Police, responded positively. Ms Mazenier recorded in a file note for the purposes of dealing with a request under the Official
Information Act, the following exchange:
Janet Mazenier to Kristy McDonald QC, 3 March 2.23:
“K, do you know a chap John Moss – potential investigator?”
Kristy McDonald QC to Janet Mazenier:
“From Police? formr professional stds? If it is – grab him. He’s a wonderful and lovely guy. U wld get on well with him”
Janet Mazenier to Kristy McDonald QC:
“Yep – same guy – Steve found him
Kristy McDonald QC to Janet Mazenier:
Janet Mazenier to Kristy McDonald QC:
“Steve or John?! (both..)”
Kristy McDonald QC to Janet Mazenier:
“Actually meant John but both”
Clearly Kristy McDonald must have know Moss well, after all had a high opinion of him, she had also worked with both Moss and Sarn Herdson in various capacities, not the least of which was their mutual involvement with the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA). In one case, May 2009, Kristy McDonald was appointed by the IPCA to review the Scott Watson case and Sarn Herdson was also involved during her first stint as a coroner.
Source: QC to review plea by convicted killer (9th May 2009, New Zealand Herald)
16. There was no discussion at this stage between the Chair and the Chief Executive of the disclosures made by Mr Moss to the Authority about his past. Because his application was late, and came directly to the Authority, and not through PHP, Dean Winter was asked by the Chief Executive not to put the application through the PHP process, thereby avoiding the fee that would be otherwise due to PHP. PHP advise that these things happen from time to time, and while they are disappointing from a commercial perspective, recruitment agencies usually let them pass on the basis that the ongoing relationship, and future work is more important than making an issue out of a particular case. In this case PHP accepted that decision, while noting that there are risks in not having all candidates go through the same process.
This paragraph is absolute bullshit, has John Edwards inteviewed Mr Jon Duffy and Mr Dave Stewart yet, no of course not, and that is why, we believe, he decided not to pursue these two bent cops.
And then there’s Dean Winters so called integrity ” Dean Winter was asked by the Chief Executive not to put the application through the PHP process, thereby avoiding the fee that would be otherwise due to PHP“.This fact also also begs the question why was Moss not referred to PHP, why was he given a special pass, via Meredith Connell, straight to Janet Mazenier, not bad for civil servants, lets check out some of Deans other concerns:
17. On receipt of the CV, it appeared to Mr Winter that Mr Moss was almost too good to be true. He had been a senior investigator with the Police, and appeared over‐qualified for the position of investigator. He decided to ma ke some checks of his own with contacts in the Police, and discovered that he had left the Police during the course of an investigation into a relationship with a constable.
Just how was it that Dean Winter was able to access confidential police information on Moss, Winter was no longer a serving police officer, no longer legally able to access police records, how is it then that we are expected to believe John Edwards bullshit accounts of Winters possibly “criminal” activities in obtaining confidential information. Just who were Winters police contacts? Names, dates,this important corroborating evidence is clearly missing from the Edwards report – why?
18. He gave this information to the Chief Executive, and was annoyed to discover that she already had that information but had not advised him.
This so called report is getting worse by the paragraph! Again it appears that no corroborating evidence was sought from Mazenier personally, instead Edwards relies on an email (which has been heavily redacted), sent to Haszard to confirm Winters claims. Mazenier in that email states; “….consider this a warning to us both!” What exactly had she meant by warning? Exactly what advice had Kristy McDonald given Mazenier after Mazenier had informed her of the situation? Had she advised Mazenier to keep quite on the subject of Moss’s past indiscretions and just hire him?
Moss was after all hired, therefore to conclude, without evidence supporting that Kristy McDonald had not had a say in the decision would be rather strange indeed, nevertheless that conclusion is reached by Edwards. Not a problem Mr Edwards simply neglects to include any reference to McDonald’s response’s to Mezenier’s concerns via emails, telephone calls, text messages etc – why?.
19. Dean Winter and John Duffy arranged for Mr Moss to travel to Wellington for an interview on Saturday 6 March.
Remember these two are the one’s that had pushed Janet Mazenier to hire Moss, she foolishly trusted these two, both ex-cops obviously both corrupt ex-cops. (We base that view not just on these events, the REAA’s future failure to investigate Martin Honey Ray White is further evidence of a predilection for cover -up’s)
20. At interview, Mr Moss appeared to be a superior candidate. He made it clear that he would be happy for the Authority to undertake any inquiries into his background.
“Superior candidate”, really were’s the evidence, given that Edwards conveniently conceals the identity of the other candidates and their qualifications and then theres this issue, given Winters off the record inquiries, and his so called serious concerns why exactly was it that no formal inquiry was made of police at that time?
21. Contemporaneously with this process, and following the interview there were a number of discussions, and email exchanges as to the relative benefits to be gained by the organisation from his impressive qualifications and experience versus the possible reputational risk of engaging someone who had left the Police in the circumstances Mr Moss had. For example:
Janet Mazenier to Steve Haszard (crown solicitor)
Wednesday 3 March 6:49 pm
Steve, fyi Dean and Jon are interviewing Jon Moss on Saturday in Wellington. Dean’s
reaction at our meeting this afternoon appears to have been driven off the fact that Jon
M’s CV is so rich so he did a bit of research which resulted in him finding out about the
situation regarding the complaint. Dean does reflect the fact that the universal view is
that Jon M fell on his sword , was cleared and was targeted [what’s been redacted…] and deserves a break, so
there is no judgment remaining there by Dean.
But, Dean is (probably rightfully) a bit miffed we didn’t mention it at the meeting, and
later when he asked you one‐on‐one about him….consider this a warning to us both!
Steve Haszard to Jane Mazenier
Wednesday 3 March 22:08
Possibly rightfully so. First step in the process was interview and then consideration of
other issues. Must say I am still not completely convinced the authority would want to
take on the reputational risk (spoke with Jon on the phone and he has not been cleared
by the IPCA yet). Anyway, that is food for thought for next week … amongst other
Janet Mazenier to Steve Haszard
Thursday 4 March 5:25 am
OK, we’ll tread with some caution – I do wonder whether Kristy is aware of the issue too – will check with her.
Janet Mazenier to Jon Duffy
Sunday 7 March 7:19 am
Hi Jon Dean and I had [a] good chat – is definitely a tricky situation. I will ring Jon
tomorrow as I need to get the situation clear then I’ll speak to Kristy – ordinarily I wouldn’t do this given it is an operation matter [but] there are potentially reputational
Janet Mazenier to Steve Haszard
Sunday 7 March 7:21 am
Steve, FYI Jon and Dean are keen to engage Jon Moss however in the circumstances I need to ensure I am very clear about the matters that are still underway.
Steve Haszard to Janet Mazenier
Monday 8 March
Couldn’t agree more Janet
Based on the information we’ve received it appears that there are a few emails missing?
22. As indicated above, in accordance with good practice (the “no surprises principle”), the Chief Executive also kept the Chair informed. On 8 March the Chief Executive sent a text to the Chair saying:
“K, I need to talk to you about Jon Moss & the response to the READT folk. Dan & I r in Greymouth 2day – will be free up till 1:45pm – when suits you?.
So where’s the verbatim response from the chair “Kristy McDonald QC?, surely it would have been on the same mobile phone? Why conceal that? Nevertheless it is concealed!
The Chair responded that she would be in a meeting, but if the Chief Executive called at 12:30, she would exit the meeting to take the call. During this call the CE for the first time apprised the chair of the nature of Mr Moss’ disclosures as described above. No
contemporaneous notes were kept of the call, but it is clear that the Chief Executive advised the Chair that she was considering employing Mr Moss despite the matters he had disclosed about the complaint, and the circumstances of his departure from the Police.
No contemporanious notes, and McDonalds a QC? Yeah right, who are they trying to kid, in fact given the circumstance, as entitled, we would be inclined to draw a negative inference; what are they trying to hide?
23. Dean Winter went on leave prior to the decision to engage Mr Moss being made. Because of the outstanding complaint, he suggested to the Chief Executive that Mr Moss could be taken on as a contractor. This would enable the Authority to make use of his skills, without being committed to keeping him on should the Police investigation disclosed by Mr Moss conclude that Mr
Moss was guilty of a criminal offence.
24. The decision to employ Mr Moss was made between Mr Duffy (is that the same Mr Duffy that Mr Edwards had decided he needn’t interview?) and the Chief Executive, as illustrated in the following email exchange.
Jon Duffy to Janet Mazenier
Sunday 7 March 09:11
One of the possibilities that Dean and I discussed was bringing him on in an advisory
role for 3 months until the result of the investigation into him is known. He would be
invaluable in assisting with the operations manual and the review as he has basically just
done the same thing at the Independent Police Complaints Authority. We could then look
at an Investigator role after that if the investigation finds no case to answer.
Obviously there are budgetary considerations as we would still need tow new
Investigators in the mean time, but it could be a way to mitigate the risk and not lose his
Janet Mazenier to Jon Duffy
Sunday 7 March 11:25
Thanks yes Dean mentioned that idea, but I am keen for you and I to explore that first
with Steve as he is leading the overall QA piece of work (of which he complaints
procedures manual is only one of the outputs). I’ll call Jon for a chat tomorrow.
25. Mr Moss was engaged on a 12 month contract dated 9 March. Despite the date on the cover page of the contract showing that the engagement was to commence on 9 March, Mr Moss’ signature at the end of that contract is
witnessed with a date stamp of 10 May. A likely explanation, confirmed by Mr Moss was that the formal execution of the contract was overlooked until the permanent contract was ready to be executed. Both were then executed, together with a memo signed by Mr Moss rescinding the earlier contract.
26. At the same time as the recruitment of the two investigators was occurring, there was a great deal of activity going on in the authority to cope with the “avalanche of complaints”. One of these things was a review of the structure
and roles to improve workflow. The Chief Executive made a recommendation to the Board that a new senior management position should be created, Senior Manager –Enforcement. The restructure would double or triple the enforcement capacity of the Authority. An employment consultant, David Stewart, of Human Value completed a draft position description on 15
27. Pending the recruitment of a suitable person to fill that role, Steve Haszard was acting in the role of Enforcement Manager, with responsibility for quality control and structural reform.
28. In order to ensure an “arms length” approach to recruitment, and that the process would not discriminate between internal and external applicants, the Chief Executive engaged PHP, as well as David Stewart, (from Human Value) to recruit the Senior Manager – Enforcement. PHP was to advertise the position internally and externally, to identify suitable applicants through
their own networks, to shortlist and release any unsuitable candidates, and report to Mr Stewart as the Chief Executive’s agent. The position was advertised on 18 March. Due to the need to fill the position as quickly as possible applications were sought by 25 March. Mr Moss, who was the only internal candidate, was interviewed by PHP on 29 March.
29. PHP gave Mr Stewart a list of 7 potential candidates on 30 March 2010. Also on 30 March 2010, Mr Moss, aware that some uncertainty remained as to the disposition of the Police investigation into an allegation against him, emailed Mr Haszard saying:
Jon Moss to Steven Haszard (Crown Solicitor) 3o March
Steve – I spoke with Viv Rickard last night and asked for an update. Below is his
response. I would expect to receive a formal letter in due course.
The file will be sent to the IPCA for review. A letter would normally be sent to the
Commissioner advising of the Authority’s review of the matter. I have no idea how long
that process might take.
That would be the end of it.I will leave this for you to advise Janet.
Attached – email from Viv Rickard to Jon Moss (cc Steve Hinds NZ Police)
Assistant Commissioner of Police,Viv Rickard to Jon Moss
Kia ora Jon
We will catch at some stage in Wgtn. You queried the final outcome of the enquiry.
I apologise that I have not responded formally to you in this regard. As you know the
enquiry was all but completed, but for completeness, we carried out a further enquiry
(out of Auckland with an ex‐member) last week.
The ex‐member has not provided any further/different information.
Therefore I can advise that the NZ Police have no cogent evidence that an assault took
place in the back of a prison van when [complainant] was present and there is no cogent
evidence indicating that you asked her to lie to investigators. Accordingly, I have taken
the decision that no further Police action will be taken.
Feel free to discuss further. I will try and make contact with you personally.
It would later be exposed (June 2010) that Viv Rickard, the Assistant Commissioner of Police had concealed important evidence, a letter sent to him by Deborah Te Kawa advising him of her own extra-marital affair with Jon Moss at the time Moss had just been investigated for the first affair with his subordinate officer Katie Scott – Yet another relationship which Moss had deliberately failed to disclose.
Why had Rickard concealed this important information from the commissioner of Police, Howard Broad, for two months? Perhaps he realised that the letter would fire up the investigation again? Which of course it inevitably did, with a second investigation into Moss being initiated by Broad when Rickard’s “now you see it, now you don’t” slight of hand with the Te Kawa letter was made public.
Looking at the chronology, Jon Moss’s email of the 30th March 2010 was within that two month period, its therefore highly likely that Rickard was already in possession of Te Kawa’s letter when he sent his very “friendly” email to Moss purportedly clearing him, for Moss to then immediately forward on to Steve Haszard (crown solicitor).
Also of serious concern is the fact that John Edwards, the investigator/report writer commissioned by Kristy McDonald QC (the REAA Chair) has omitted to include the date of Rickards email to Moss – Why? If it was attached to Moss’s email to Haszard that detail would clearly have been available to Edwards.
30. Mr Stewart met with 4 candidates recommended by PHP. Of these, one (“A”) had been approached by PHP, and for his own reasons did not want his identity disclosed to the Authority until he was sufficiently advanced in the process, and confident that he would want the job if offered. He was considered by PHP to be a very strong candidate. Another very able candidate was overseas, and was advised that due to the need to have someone in the position as soon as possible, his candidacy would not proceed to final interview stage.
31. The process was that long listed candidates would be interviewed by PHP, Mr Stewart would interview a shortlist, and then a final interview would be undertaken by the Chief Executive and Mr Haszard (on the basis that he was acting in the role to be filled). Mr Stewart advised PHO that for various reasons 3 of the 4 shortlisted candidates would not proceed to interview. He recommended just one candidate as the preferred candidate. That person was Mr Moss, who was then interviewed by the Chief Executive and Mr Haszard.
32. By the time Mr Stewart had met with the Chief Executive to determine who was to be interviewed, candidate “A” had still asked that his identity be withheld from the Authority. Mr Stewart emailed PHP on 15 April and said:
As I suspected [the Chief Executive] feels that [A’s] experience (without divulging
specifics and his name) are not substantially greater than Jon Moss so they are going to
run with Jon’s interview today and then make a decision if he is the right candidate or if
they need to re‐visit others.
Candidate “A’s” experience was not substantially greater, what does that mean, where’s the evidence for this claim? If it was in anyway greater then surely the man (A) should have been interviewed. No, this job had clearly been ear-marked for Moss from the outset. The creation of the new position just when they thought they’d managed to fly Inspector Jonathan Moss and his nefarious past under the radar of public scrutiny – Who was really pulling the strings at the REAA? We’ve already found at least two more examples of the “Jobs for the boy’s” and “Girls” philosophy at the REAA, and in both cases they point to the hand of no one other than the Chairperson Kristy McDonald QC. One of those examples also appears to constitute a serious breach of the principles of fairness and conflicted interest.
33. As it happened, after that email had been sent, candidate A had called Mr Stewart to say he would be interested in pursuing the role. In a further email to PHP David Stewart said:
I advised him that the internal candidate was being strongly considered and then they
would make a decision if they need to go external again. Unfortunate that in the 11th
hour his application came though and without giving full details of his background (and
disclosing his identity) I could not demonstrate a greater strength than the internal
34. Mr Gowland from PHP responded the same day saying:
Whilst disappointing that we could couldn’t get A to final interview stage we will talk
with him today and manage this. Pending this afternoon’s meeting please advise when
you would like us to conduct full reference checks on the internal ‐ Jon Moss.
35. The interview of Mr Moss with Mr Haszard and the Chief Executive proceeded that day. At interview, Mr Moss was again at pains to explain that he did not want the circumstances of his departure from the Police to embarrass the Authority. The offer from PHP to Mr Stewart to undertake reference checking was not taken up. Mr Stewart advised that his understanding was “that Powerhouse had already provided robust reference checks to REAA at the initial time of recruiting Jon Moss to the Investigator role”.
“The offer from PHP to Mr Stewart to undertake reference checking was not taken up” Now why would they, its clear that a reference check would have totally fucked their plans to promote Moss into a higher paying position which we believe was created for him.
36. Because of his role in introducing Mr Moss into the organisation, Mr Haszard made “informal” inquiries of his contacts, including former and serving senior officers, to ask about Mr Moss’ performance, as he would not have been wanting to be responsible for a “dud” getting the job. It should be emphasised that these enquiries were not about the conduct or complaint
issues, they were merely around his work performance. Mr Haszard was satisfied that Mr Moss had made a full disclosure of the former issues to the Chief Executive and that she would be able to deal with those as she saw fit.
Clearly, this is willful blindness on the part of Steven Haszard, who were these contacts, these men or woman who where able to separate out Moss’s work performance from his alleged criminal offending, Haszard must have very unique contacted if he expects to be believed, and it comes as no surprise that John Edward’s doesn’t name them!
37. On 15 April at 5:24 pm, the Chief Executive emailed Jon Moss, offerring him the position of Senior Manager – Enforcement.
Complete with a huge salary, similar to money he’d been getting in the police force.
38. There is one further aspect of this second recruitment process that needs to be mentioned as part of this review. On 30 March, the REAA received an anonymous letter which made a number of allegations about Mr Moss, and his fitness for employment with the Authority. The letter referred to the allegations surrounding Mr Moss’ departure from the Police, and made a number of assertions as to his fitness for employment as a result of those allegations, and of the relationship he had while employed with the Police.
This letter came after some odd anonymous telephone calls apparently intended to obtain information as to the nature of Mr Moss’ employment with the Authority. PHP too, received a number of calls from a person ostensibly enquiring about the Senior Manager – Enforcement position, but which in fact were intended to elicit information about Mr Moss. The caller identified
herself as being a current public servant, and then sent in her CV, but did not then proceed with her application. The way in which that person presented herself caused some concerns with the recruiter.
39. On receipt of the anonymous letter, the Chief Executive discussed its contents with Mr Moss, and concluded that there was nothing alleged in it (apart from the writers interpretations of the events and their significance) which added to what Mr Moss had already disclosed. In addition, as it was anonymous, it was discounted, and no further notice was taken of it.
The last three paragraphs are where real concern should lay, Mr Edwards appears to have disregarded a whistle-blower, simply by dismissing it as anonymous, yet he provides little if any supporting evidence, such as the contents of the anonymous letter, a letter that might have inculpated Moss and Sarn Herdson Perhaps? If allegations of corrupt behaviour had been made in this so called anonymous letter why then did Edwards not investigate them thoroughly, instead of forming an opinion based on just that, his opinion! Its vert easy to make things disappear with a little literary slight of hand.
Legal and Policy issues
40. There is very little in the way of regulation around recruitment practices apart from the general provisions of the Human Rights Act, Privacy Act, the Fair Trading Act and the like.
41. As a Crown Entity, REAA is subject to the Crown Entities Act 2004. Section 118 of that Act recites Crown Entities’ obligations as a “good employer”. The term “good employer” is defined as “an employer who operates a personnel policy containing provisions generally accepted as necessary for the fair and proper treatment of employees in all aspects of their employment, including
provisions requiring”; (c) the impartial selection of suitably qualified persons for appointment; and
42. This obligation appears to have been complied with in the recruitment of Jon Moss for the position of investigator, and for recruitment as Senior Manager – Enforcement. I have found no evidence to suggest that partiality was an element of the decision to employ Mr Moss at that time (except to the extent that an employer is entitled, even obliged to be “partial” to the most suitable candidate).
43. Nor is there very much available by way of “best practice” guidelines for crown entity or even state sector employers. I note that in its 2005/2006 Annual Report the State Services Commission said:
Projects have been established and project managers appointed for a number of new
initiatives, including State sector employment brand research, syndicated procurement
of an Employee Engagement Survey and the development of a guide to best practice
44. Enquiries of the SSC indicate that this latter piece of work has not been done. Nonetheless, SSC could be expected to show a leadership role in recruitment practice. Its own internal recruitment policy says (inter alia):
• Structured process
– Selection and assessment processes should be structured, consistent and transparent to
give all applicants an equal opportunity to demonstrate their suitability for a position.
– All shortlisted candidates must complete:
– an application form- a New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) request and consent for a
basic check form
– a criminal conviction form
– a Ministry of Justice request for a copy of personal information form
– a health declaration
– a competency self-assessment form.
• Pre-appointment checks
– Reference checks, criminal history checks and a NZSIS basic check must be carried out
for the preferred applicant prior to recommending an appointment.
45. There is no suggestion that SIS checks would be a prerequisite for employment to the REAA, however, the policy emphasises the need for reference checks. Its more extensive internal guidance material includes the following:
Reference checks must be carried out for the preferred applicant prior to recommending
an appointment. The convenor or an appropriate delegate should carry out the check.
Reference checking is used to:
• verify information supplied by the preferred applicant during the interview/assessment
• follow up on any relevant areas of concern the panel has.
Applicants should provide the names of at least two referees who have been forewarned they may be called. The referees should be able to be contacted by telephone to provide the opportunity to ask follow‐up questions to their responses.
Reference checks can only be made with the referees that have been nominated or
agreed to by the individual. However, the panel can request the names of other referees
from the applicant to assess suitability against specific competencies.
Before contacting referees, select the competencies where verification is needed or any
areas of concern.
It is important to confirm and clarify the past and any current relationship between the
referee and the applicant as any personal relationship and the type of work relationship
may impact on the usefulness and relevance of the information.
Where the referees have not provided sufficient (or specific) information, ask the
applicant for the name of more referees, indicating the type of information/referee
If the reference checks raise or confirm any doubts about the preferred applicant’s
ability to perform the job:
• seek further information from the applicant or
• reference check the next most preferred applicant.
Note: The Privacy Act allows for ‘evaluative material’ that has been obtained from a referee in the course of a selection process to be withheld from the applicant if a referee has been promised that the information supplied will be held in confidence.
All information obtained from referees should be placed in a sealed envelope and held on the vacancy file.Refer to the verbal reference check form – the questions may need to be adapted to suit the particular position/applicant.
46. These would appear to be prudent steps. While they were clearly not undertaken in this way in the case of Mr Moss’ employment, there is no suggestion that in that case, the failure to follow a practice of that nature would have lead to any different decision being made about his suitability for the job, or the assessment that he was the best qualified candidate.
47. The Office of the Auditor‐General rarely reviews recruitment practices, and has likewise issued no guidance or best practice material for employers. However in Part 2 of its inquiry into the appointment of the Head of Immigration, MaryAnn Thompson the Auditor‐General said:
After withdrawing from the recruitment process for the role of chief executive of DPMC, Ms Thompson applied for the role of Deputy Secretary (Workforce) at the Department of Labour. The process appears to have been reasonably standard, but there were some aspects of the process that departed from good practice. I do not consider that these departures had a significant effect on the outcome of the process.
The Department of Labour used a consultant, a contestable process, an interview panel, and reference checks. Although Ms Thompson was interviewed by the panel, her late application bypassed the consultant’s usual process without any documented rationale for this, and records were not retained by the Department of Labour.
The offer of employment to Ms Thompson was made before reference checks were carried out, and the offer was not conditional on the outcome of the reference checks. Even though Ms Thompson had previous public sector experience, this deviated from my expectations of good practice. However, my findings are limited to this one recruitment process.
The then chief executive of the Department of Labour and Ms Thompson’s employer, Dr James Buwalda, became aware from Mr Wintringham in 2007 that a question had previously arisen about Ms Thompson’s PhD. This was in the context of an external review Dr Buwalda was commissioning into some immigration decisions for family
members of Ms Thompson (discussed in Volume 1). At this time, Mr Wintringham was a member of the Department of Labour’s Audit Committee.
Dr Buwalda did not believe that there was an outstanding issue to be resolved, and so did not do anything with this
information. With hindsight, it would have been helpful for this information to have been passed on to Dr Buwalda’s successor.
Ministers’ knowledge of the PhD uncertainty
Ministers were not aware of the PhD uncertainty until just before it became public in May 2008. That is consistent with the norms governing when it is appropriate for Ministers to be informed about employment matters in the public service.
Timely reminder for all employers within public entities
This case illustrates that it is important for all public sector employers to consider the general and specific approach they take to verifying the information presented in a curriculum vitae (CV). They also need to be aware of the link between these procedural steps in recruitment processes and the broad collective role they play in safeguarding
the integrity of the public sector.
The extent of checks required is likely to vary depending on the seniority of the role and the nature of the experience and qualifications needed. The applicant’s previous work history may also be relevant. However, each entity within the public sector is a distinct organisation, and each chief executive is responsible for their employment practices. An individual having previously worked in the public sector cannot be a reason for not carrying out a proper recruitment process with the appropriate checks.
It is reasonable to expect a more robust approach to be taken for chief executive and senior positions than for other positions, given the leadership and management role they have in an organisation. Although the checking processes may at times appear mundane, those making senior appointments need to be aware of the risk that incorrect information in a CV potentially raises a question about an applicant’s integrity.
For senior public sector roles, that is a risk that needs to be scrupulously managed. In fairness to the individuals, it is important to dispel a question if it is unfounded. For the organisation, and for the sector as a whole, it is important to ensure that any integrity risk raised by a credible source is addressed.
48. Applying those observations to the recruitment of Mr Moss, it is clear that many elements of good practice were present; the use of independent consultants, a structured and fair interview process and others. Absent however, was a full and formal process or referee checking and qualification verification.
49. Having said that, it is unlikely that had those processes been followed, and formal checking undertaken, there would have been any different outcome. Mr Moss was identified as the best person for the job. Informal checks confirmed that there was no reason to doubt his previous performance in similar roles, or that he had withheld any information which might have
affected the decision to offer him employment.
50. It is an open secret that employers often use informal checking processes, whereby staff use personal contacts and connections to ascertain the “fit” of a candidate for a position. It is not best practice to rely on such measures, which are usually confidential and often “off the record” in a contestable process. Doing so exposes an organisation to risk (of breach of the Privacy Act for one) and raise the serious question of how a prospective employer is to treat any adverse information that comes through such channels.
51. These concerns were not an issue in the present case, as Mr Moss had given a broad authority to the Authority to enquire as it saw fit (even though, in one case the “informal contacts” were used prior to that consent being given), and those sources of information gave no cause for concern about employing him.
52. In addition to the concern about the use of “informal contacts”, the absence of adherence to a standard policy can lead to (and in this case did lead to) confusion about who was doing what. Mr Moss’ initial application was received outside the PHP recruitment policy, and thereby missed the checks that would have been a standard part of the services offered by that firm.
When he applied for the Senior Manager‐Enforcement position as an internal candidate, assumptions were made that reference checks would already have been a part of the initial process.
John Edwards must have very little regard for the average person intelligence and that of the whistle-blowers and others that his report attempts to shaft.
53. The REAA should adapt, and adopt as its own recruitment policy, the guidance and policy of the State Services Commission
John Edward’s so called investigation and report is obviously nothing more than a snow-job, it contains falsehoods, blatant lies and contradictions, in fact so many holes it’s nothing short of a colander . What we here at Lauda Finem would like to see is that the entire board of the REAA, their CAC members and staff be investigated and if found to be corrupt sacked, prosecuted and or imprisoned.
So as to facilitate that thorough investigation we would like to see Ms Kristy McDonald, the Coroner Sarn Herdson, Nathan Guy MP, Steven Haszard of Meredith Connell Crown Solicitors and Jonathon Moss et al interviewed again, this time by an honest cop.
Moreover to assist in the process of that thorough investigation all telephone records, computers and any other potential source of incriminating evidence stored at the offices of the REAA or in fact the homes of its employees or statutory office holders should be be seized by warrant. After-all that’s what has and would happen here in Australia – we think that New Zealand’s naive public need’s to catch up, “to adapt and adopt”, an anti corruption body such as ICAC so as to catch these bastards at it.
As an aside, and possibly an by way of explanation for Edwards bullshit report, John Edwards is apparently good mates with the Minister Nathan Guy, John Key and his staff and of course Kieth Manch,“Chop Chop” the man who Nathan Guy had replace Janet Mazenier. It would also appear that Mr Edwards had done quite a bit of work for Keith Manch over at the Department of Internal affairs, one of Edwards specialties being Cyber Law, what’s a cyber law type doing being asked to investigate and write a report on an employment issue, there would have been far more appropriate choices.
Was it Kieth Manch that recommended John Edwards to McDonald after all we know that Manch was Nathan Guys “Mr Fix It”, a man who lack of respect for democracy extended to shredding official document so as to prevent them becoming public. John Edwards must have been paid a lot to produce his cover-up report, his credibility must have also suffered as its not all that convincing , in fact we wonder if Nathan Guy even read the shite given that by the looks of it he had known the outcome was in the bag:
“A statement today by Associate Minister of Justice Nathan Guy said he welcomed a review into Mr Moss’s employment at the authority.
“The review finds that there was no impropriety in the employment process and that full disclosure of the police investigation was made by Mr Moss,” Mr Guy said.
“However, I am concerned this situation was allowed to arise. I am disappointed that there were failures in best practice, and that there was no formal system for checking referees.”
Mr Guy said Ms McDonald had assured him the Real Estate Agents Authority employment procedures were under review.
“The REAA has an important role to play in licensing real estate agents and providing help and support for the public. I want to see this good work continued,” Mr Guy said”
Oh thats right the Minister, Nathan Guy’s also a friend of Jackie Blue MP he’s taught her well, she knows how the REAA’s system works, and has in turn used it to the advantage of yet another National Party fuck buddy, Mr Martin Honey, a criminally insane fraudster who, with his very timid bullshitting wife Stephanie, owns and operates Martin Honey Ray White Real Estate, its a vicious circle is it not, especially in a very very small country like New Zealand. As for Janet Mazenier’s interest in cyber/internet issues that involved the “Crown” take a look at the YouTube clips in Related material and articles below.
Note: The video below was disabled by YouTube on 20 April 2012 after someone in power (we suspect via YouTube partner TVNZ) falsely alleged that what amounts to an evidential tape is “somehow” defamatory. It is of course not defamatory, the truth never is, but the video does evidence Mr Honey’s criminal offending and that must be embarrassing for Mr Honey and the REAA.
Lauda Finem have also taken the extraordinary step of closing our YouTube account (in protest) and will be working over the weekend to have the video evidence up and running again, this time under the complete control of www.laudafinem.org so that the likes of Martin Honey and his corrupt national party mates cant touch it………so pop back soon!
http://www.sfo.govt.nz/case/dominion-finance-11-13 (REAA CAC Anna Tierney)
http://www.sfo.govt.nz/case/south-canterbury-finance-11-12 (REAA CAC Anna Tierney)
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10495384 (REAA CAC Anna Tierney)
- Open letter to New Zealand’s real estate agents (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- REAA, favouritism, cronyism and conspiracy; the ethical dilemma (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Jackie “the fixer” Blue (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Keith Manch’s victim writes – Jackie Blue, Martin Honey – The “Big Mistake” Plot (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Keith Manch corrupt civil servant writes (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Yet another ex-cop and corrupt barrister on the inside of the REAA (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- She’s a politician nuf said – Is Jackie “I’ve been belted” Blue a bent pollie? (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Open letter to ACC (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Keith Manch, bad cop takes aim at Brian Rowe, iconic justice crusader. (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Worst Ever Disaster Hits Maritime New Zealand; They Hired a Bent Copper Keith Manch (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Corrupt REAA official ex-cop stalks justice campaigners family (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- REAA: Profiling Board Members – Joan Harnett-Kindley (nee Martin) (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- REAA: six degrees of separation, applying the theory (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- National party crony? Mike Flahive, just who’s privacy is he being told to protect? (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- ACC; don’t leave home without a recording device (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- ACC case: Minister wrote letter for friend (laudafinem.wordpress.com)
- Criminal conspirator and fraudster Dr Bruce Johnstone hurriedly leaves New Zealand shores (laudafinem.wordpress.com)