An interesting article appeared on yahoo news a couple of days ago, notifying the New Zealand business community that the Government had decided to do a U-Turn on its previous position on insolvency practitioners; that all was well with New Zealand’s “insolvency industry”.
Of course the Governments position was always an untenable one, as our many articles over the past couple of years, detailing the criminal exploits of a number of accountants and lawyers working on the “fringes” of the industry, has proven beyond any doubt.
Team LF will soon complete another investigation and will be publishing a story on Kiwi media flunky and insolvency specialist Damien Grant and his firm Waterstone; where well be exposing in detail the rorts, not only available to these commercial Highwayman, but scams that have also been taken advantage of for their own pecuniary advantage.
What amazes us all here at LF though is the fact that this story has not made headline news in New Zealand. LF suspects this is because of our own ongoing investigation into New Zealand’s sham liquidators and the corrupt lawyers assisting them, that team LF have already exposed. The of course there is the failure of New Zealand’s Courts to properly deal with certain characters in the industry, crooks the likes of John Price, Greg Sheriff, Damien Grant, Bruce Johnson, Mike Alexander, Brent Norling and Stuart Gloyn.
The article below appears on Yahoo but was originally syndicated through Radio New Zealand and its online presence:
The (NZ) government is introducing a long-awaited licensing regime for insolvency practitioners after finding the current system “too loose” and enabling dishonesty and incompetence.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith said hundreds of New Zealand companies go into liquidation, receivership or administration each year with outstanding debts running into many millions of dollars and it was essential there is a high level of trust and transparency around the process.
The minister set up an Insolvency Working Group last year to investigate problems with voluntary company liquidations, including the use of phoenix companies where assets are transferred to a near-identical entity to dodge liabilities.
It recommended law changes after finding too many insolvency practitioners fell well short of the standards the public should expect by overcharging or failing to protect creditors’ interests.
The group identified two primary causes – that it was too easy for people to become an insolvency practitioner and a lack of accountability for poor behaviour.
“There are insufficient effective sanctions against ‘self-interested‘ practitioners who overcharge for their services or carry out unnecessary work in order to obtain larger fees, or against ‘debtor-friendly’ liquidators who fail to comply with their statutory duty to protect the interests of creditors,” the minister said.
Under existing rules a person can be convicted of tax evasion or other serious knowledge-based criminal behaviour, yet still operate as an insolvency practitioner.
Goldsmith said the new co-regulation regime includes monitoring compliance with legislative obligations and the code of ethics, professional standards and rules issued by the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand.
The changes will be made through a supplementary order paper to the Insolvency Practitioner’s Bill which is currently before the House.
Fact is whether John Key and his Ministers do read LF, which we suspect Key and at least 5 in his Cabinet do, Lauda Finem has played a significant role, being instrumental in bringing about change in the area of insolvency industry and one other – that being last years changes to online harassment and stalking laws in New Zealand.
LF is aware that our investigative series on Kiwi hate website, ACCforum.org played a significant role in the new law coming into being – the Government perhaps reminded of just how quickly things could get out of hand with online harassment and stalking moving into “real” world territory.
Interestingly, ACCForum have now been forced to remove a significant volume of material, thousands of pages and comments that had been posted by its nastier members over the years; designed to stalk, harass and intimidate their targets.
The next area the Government needs to bring its focus too is that of New Zealand’s now notorious Trust laws, which in addition to concealing vast amounts of, often un-taxed, wealth are also regularly used to rort creditors and various other stakeholders in businesses that go belly-up
Lauda Finem, getting the dirty jobs done!