LF has over the past three years run a number of stories on New Zealand’s very dodgy Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA). Our last post was on the plight of Mr William Hume (see also related articles below) who had unwittingly fallen victim to the shady inside dealing and outrageous antics of the apparently unaccountable little fiefdom at New Zealand’s REAA have been allowed to get away with since its inception.
Whilst the REAA case of Vanderhoof v Hume was randomly selected by LF we still managed to establish the connections and agenda that the protagonist, Dale Vanderhoof and his “Mates”, inclusive of his own daughter Ngaire Vanderhoof, at the REAA had been able to conceal.
LF have been working on a number of REAA cases over the past eighteen months and in almost every case the REAA and its employees appear to have engaged in underhanded tactics so as to achieve what appears to be predetermined outcomes based on personal preferences, friendships/associations between the civil servants at the REAA and the wishes/needs of a few wealthy and politically influential individuals, all of whom have been, at some point, Key players in New Zealand’s real estate sector, at the expense of justice.
LF have made the decision to publish, in part only, the next post in our series, New Zealand’s REAA – Six Degrees Of Separation – Facebook, Free Masons and Fraudsters. Nevertheless we feel that it is in the public interest that New Zealand estate agents are alerted to yet another of the REAA’s bent adjudicators.
Regular readers will be aware that we have documented the REAA’s history of corruption and in our next post we will again recap that history for readers who have only started following LF recently. In this post we’ll be sharing with readers the results of one aspect of an ongoing investigation. This case is very similar to that of William Hume’s story. More evidence perhaps that the REAA’s problems are systemic as apposed to being the odd unexpected judicial oversight.
The REAA civil servant that LF will be exposing in this instance is one Anna Tierney. Tierney was a member, and occasionally the chairperson, of one of the REAA’s CAC’s until she left to further her academic qaulifications.
On the surface at least, Tierney had all the right credentials to be selected for the position. She had worked for Ernst and Young’s forensic accounting division and perhaps more importantly she had also held the position of a senior investigator at New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (SFO.
But despite Anna Tierney’s credentials appearing to stack up when taken at face value there was a dimension to Tierney’s appointment that the REAA Chair, Kristy McDonald, and the Minister responsible would rather no one else knew about. The first of those problems being that Tierney had a propensity for corrupt behavior, a proclivity that she no doubt acquired under the SFO’s director David Bradshaw, a story LF reported on a couple of years back.
Following the William Hume example LF decided to run Anna Tierney through our recently developed ‘six degrees’ technique. Once the results were in Tierney quickly turned into a two degree’s, an even bigger fucking lemon, a far larger danger to real estate agents and consumers than LF could ever have imagined. It turns out that Mrs Anna Tierney had been anything but the independent, objective administrator of justice that the government had conned New Zealander’s into believing when she was quitely appointed to the REAA position by Kristy “fuck knuckle” McDonald.
As regular readers know LF’s ‘six degree’ test normally starts with our researchers taking an in depth look at the subjects social media connections. Now in this regard Anna Tierney seemed, at least at first glance, fairly clean. That is to say she was completely devoid of any online social media presence. In fact given her previous employment, as an investigator with the SFO, the number of cases she had been involved in, and her age/demographic, statistically her anonymity and the lack of any media mention was an anomaly and extremely suspicious.
So LF adopted a slightly different approach to that which had been applied in the Hume case – one might say we worked the system in reverse, starting at the other end of the suspected chain.
As always we started with LinkedIn and FaceBook. The first profile, that of the man we suspected was being protected by the REAA and Tierney, threw up a negative result, so researchers moved to the second degree, and that’s when the LF team was able to locate the necessary connections. LF was then able to evidence that REAA CAC member Anna Tierney’s behaviour could be explained by her close, albeit concealed, association with the man she was protecting.
The case in brief – during an ongoing REAA matter Anna Tierney had been seen to act in a highly suspicious, clearly biased and legally very unsafe manner. What’s more Tierney’s behaviour could not be explained by a lack of knowledge or experience; again given her extensive background with the SFO that was never going to be a plausible explanation.
Therefore LF justifiably concluded that Tierney must have been acting in collaboration with the accused and or parties very closely associated with the accused. It was these ‘suspected’ associations that LF needed to evidence by demonstrating a plausible path or connection between the parties. The accused in this case was Auckland Real Estate agent, self reported ‘Real Estate ACE‘, Ray White high flyer and chronic narcissist Martin Honey, a former Re/Max franchise agent who had changed over to Ray White New Zealand in Febuary 2009 only a matter of months after the REAA came into existence.
The REAA had received a complaint alleging that Martin Honey had continued, covertly, to operate a Re/max website without entitlement and that the site had been designed to channel clients away from the genuine Remax area franchise’s website. Honey’s offending had continues until it was eventually discovered in April 2010 by the genuinely entitled Re/max franchise. So in short Auckland’s Martin Honey Ray White real Estate had been surreptitiously and unlawfully stealing business from its competor Re/max Onehunga.
The first set of alarms triggered for the victims of Honey’s criminal offending were set off when CAC Chair Anna Tierney took the highly unusual step of requesting the file. This fact however was not known until very late in the proceedings as it had been intentionally hidden by the REAA, LF suspects, as a result of directions given by Tierney and the then registrar Keith Manch.
In fact the REAA had intentionally concealed and withheld a whole raft of documents and correspondence that the complainants had been entitled to for months, despite the complainants having already formally requested the complete file. It was only when the REAA, in particular Dean Winter, Keith Manch and Ancari Van Niekirk, were alerted to the fact that www.laudafinem.org had likely obtained documents from a whistleblower inside the REAA that they were eventually forced to come clean and supply everything, although that was not the end of a few serious issues around the REAA and their arrogant attitude when it comes to “discovery” (also see Luke Clancy, Crown Law, below).
Following LF’s initial reporting of the case, an intemperate Anna Tieney wrote to the complainants threatening sanctions should they continue to speak to the media, just who the fuck did she think she was? Its no small wonder that LF’s reporting had upset Tierney, the documents that the REAA had been withholding were significant, they included never before seen witness statements and file notes which further evidenced wrong doing on the part of Martin Honey, his employees and the REAA.
What’s more, during this period, the REAA’s wrong doing had included Anna Tierney deliberately acting to ensure that inculpating evidence was either diminished or concealed from the REAA’s expert witnesses and that those witnesses be prevented from communicating with the complainants. Of course Tierney’s behaviour was not only in itself very strange, it was also unlawful; so just why would an ostensibly independent adjudicator risk being caught colluding with the accused in a proceeding so as to protect the party; for all intents and purposes attempting to fix the outcome to favour the accused.
Whilst LF researchers had already determined that Anna Tierney very likely held a grudge against the complainants, with roots going back almost twenty years, LF concluded that there had to be more to it. As in the William Hume case, Tierneys actions seemed to us to be part of what was fast shaping up to look like a good old fashioned conspiracy?
Since the commencement of this particular REAA matter, almost 4 years ago, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge and LF has managed to collect and collate a considerable volume of evidence of the aforementioned collusion and conspiracy that now inculpates a number of REAA employees, REAA witnesses, real estate agents and last but by no means least the crown lawyers involved, Meredith Connell and its associate Luke Clancy.
From Paul Currie’s case through to William Humes case one of Aucklands Crown Solicitor Meredith Connell’s “dark Angels” is always to be found lurking in the background somewhere. Whats more Meredith Connells trademark method of destroying or burying critical information and or evidence, with their slight of hand “now you see it, now you don’t” technique, is almost always present. Whether its Nick Flanagen, Luke Clancy or Kieren Raferty its the same M/O. In LF’s humble opinion, looking at the random sample, the pattern and scale of offending, this behaviour certainly seems to be systemic.
It was only when LF started to receive and inordinately large number of emailed complaints against the REAA that we decided to undertake the random analysis detailed in the William Hume posts. It was that particular approach that in this case also produced a significant result, providing the much needed motive for Anna Tierney’s criminal offending.
As aforesaid when LF started looking at Martin Honey much of the available online material needed for the search had been removed or blocked by Honey changing his social network privacy settings. LF then adopted the aforementioned slightly different approach, that in the end worked equally as well.
Whilst there is a lot more to the procedure than we’re at liberty to detail, as with the William Hume case our focus for the purposes of this peice will be on what was discovered using facebook as the online resource. The upshot is that LF managed to again map a pathway that ran from Ray White’s Martin Honey all the way to the REAA’s back door. Once inside the REAA the path then lead straight to the desk of Anna Tierney.
Once the research and necessary modeling was completed LF discovered that this “social network” pathway had inveigled a number of other players in the real estate industry and political circles, the CEO of Ray White New Zealand, Anna Tierney’s uncle in law Mike Tierney (also a Ray White agent), Martin Honey, his wife Stephanie Honey and a brother Peter Honey.
LF had always suspected political involvement, given that list MP Jackie Blue had largely been responsible for first championing Martin Honey’s cause, having written to the Minister Nathan Guy repeating Honey’s implausible false retaliatory allegations of police complaints, blackmail and physical threats, but LF’s research provided additional evidence of the likely political dimension to this case. So, again using facebook (as the only exemplar) LF soon established that Martin Honey was a close friend of one Michael (Mike) Tierney, real estate agent of Arrowtown, New Zealand; both are Ray White agents.
LF also managed to establish that the relationship between this pair was about more than just common business interests. Martin Honeys brother Peter Honey also features as a friend on this blokes Facebook page. Peter Honey is of course Martin Honey’s Brother, he is however not a real estate agent and has nothing to do with the Ray White real estate franchise. Peter honey is in fact involved in the tourism industry, marine charter to be precise.
This information indicates a relationship that extended well beyond a mere business association between Martin Honey and Michael (Mike) Tierney; in fact it tends to infer that all three individuals are more likely in the “family friends” category. Also listed as a friend on Mike Tierney’s Facebook page is one Cary Smith, the CEO of Ray White New Zealand.
So what we are left with is a close family friendship between Martin Honey, his Brother Peter, this bloke Mike Tierney and a fourth, Ray White CEO Cary Smith. Now of course the surname Tierney is not a particularly common, Scottish and more often than not Presbyterian in origin. So for Martin Honey’s friend Mike Tierney to have the same surname as the REAA’s Anna Tierney, the woman who had been engaging in a spot of match fixing was encouraging, but a relationship, if one existed, had to be established to prove the connection to a standard LF required.
It should be noted that both Martin Honey and Cary Smith have only recently changed their privacy settings, a further indication that they were perhaps a little more than concerned by LF’s investigation into the William Hume REAA case.
So the long and tedious job of ferretting through Mike Tierney’s friend’s page started. LF researchers started to get somewhere when delving into the connected facebook profile of a youngster who appeared to be one of Mikes relatives, Max Tierney. LF then cottoned on to Max’s father, one Jon Tierney, a director of Auckland wealth Management consultants J B Ware, who as it turns out is also Mike Tierney’s nephew, married to none other than the REAA’s Anna Teirney – its such a small world, especially when you can successfully expose the hidden connections and agenda’s that bent civil servants have conspired to conceal.
LF then discovered, Micheal Tierney being a Arrowtown local and Ray White estate agent, that there was in fact a second seriously conflicted player that had sat in on the case, two undisclosed extremely close associations, who shared the same nexus; Mike Tierney. This second influential CAC member, who just happened to be drafted in, was Joan Harnett Kindley, the wife of retired Wanaka real estate agent Donald Kindley, both of whom just happen to live up the road from Mike Tierney in New Zealand’s Central Otago region, both of whom also share a friendship with Mike Tierney.
Once the social connections had been well and truly established LF then set to work digging even deeper into the Tierny/Honey/Kindley/Ray White cabal and what we had always suspected had been a very tight little conspiracy to pervert justice.
LF also went looking for a potential connection between Bryce Johns the former editor of the New Zealand Herald on Sunday, his junior journo Celeste Gorrell-Anstiss and Ray White New Zealand. In particular we were hoping to find a financial incentive that could help explain the actions of APN; once again we weren’t disappointed – yet again the REAA, spin doctor Ngaire Vanderhoof and Ray White CEO Cary Smith appear to have been involved (more about that later).
Of course Celeste Gorrell-Anstiss and her old boss Bryce Johns are now resident in Australia so team LF will be doing their best to ensure that they don’t remain unnoticed for to much longer, especially given that they are now working with the Australian real estate industry. One things is certain, LF will also be doing its utmost to ensure that Anna Tierney is never again allowed to be in a position where she can benefit her ‘mates’ with corrupt practice.
Ah New Zealand…….you’ve done it again!