As regular readers will know team LF have been posting stories exposing the rampant corruption within New Zealand’s Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA). In so many cases that have been brought to our attention there has been extremely concerning behaviour by REAA staff, its CAC’s and finally by the Tribunal or READT itself.
No sooner had the agency left the starting blocks they were exposed for hiring a corrupt cop, Jonathan Moss. The then registrar was unceremoniously blamed and dumped for that behaviour when in fact the responsibility really lay with the REAA’s chairwoman Kristy McDonald QC, who along with Auckland Coroner Sarn Herdson, one of Moss’s mistresses, had both been responsible for misleading the registrar in order to obtain the job for Moss.
Then Minister responsible Nathan Gut hired another bent ex-cop as the authority’s registrar, this cop turned civil servant, Keith Manch, had already come to the attention of the media when he was caught destroying documents that had been the subject of an FOI request whilst he was at the Department of Internal Affairs, those same document evidencing that the department had in fact mislead the public.
Then came the REAA investigator who had made a habit of stalking the teenage daughter of a complainant. LF establishing that the REAA stalker was none other than another bent ex-cop, Dean Winter, the man who had been quietly sacked before joining the REAA when his employer Trademe.co.nz found out that he had unlawfully released Trademe’s private customer details, details that were then handed to prisoners involved in the Ngāi Tūhoe police raids, that cop, Detective Sergeant Aaron Pascoe, later castigated for obtaining police search warrants using false affidavits that had mislead the court.
Then there was the case of Marnie Adams, Martin Honey Ray White , William Hume, and Aaron Drever, all cases that we here at LF believe have been dealt with corruptly by the REAA, its CAC and its tribunal, the READT.
There was also the appointment of a so-called ex district court judge by Minister Nathan Guy. LF felt at the time of his appointment that Mr Paul Barber had been brought in by Guy as a National Party handler, a Mr Fix-it, to bury any remnants of the Jonathan Moss scandal and another case that was being politically manipulated and driven by both Nathan Guy and ex-pollie Jackie Blue.
Jackie Blue of course left politics when LF started sniffing around, the final straw, when we named her as a co-conspiritor in the Martin Honey Ray White coverup, before her departure she was however handed a life saver in the form of a ticket on Nationals gravy train, the position of the taxpayer funded Equal Opportunities Commissioner.
These corrupt dealings were however given an even more damning perspective when yesterday Whale Oils Stephen Cook broke the news that the REAA’s Clayton’s judge was a complete fraud. That he was not a judge and had no right to be using the title. Since then LF have obtained even more damning evidence. LF has received information from our readers since we appealed for whistle-blowers to come forward in our post of the 7th October 2015.
Whilst LF had long known that “Judge” Barber was clearly a judicial fraudster, his decisions evidenced that much, it is Stephen Cook who now deserves a big pat on the back for unearthing the fact that Paul Barber is indeed a con artist, one who’s resume was never quite what he had conned others to believe.
It is not only Paul Barber that needs to be hung out to dry with Stephen Cooks discovery. Barber was clearly not alone in the knowledge that he was not a judge, that he had no entitlement to be calling himself a judge either.
The Small matter of the Clayton’s Judge
In yesterdays Whale Oil article it was claimed that Paul Barber was not a judge, a claim that LF believes, having also now researched the matter, to be 100% accurate. Stephen Cook opined:
HE ‘JUDGE’ WHO ISN’T ACTUALLY A JUDGE
by Stephen Cook on October 12, 2015 at 8:00am
THE MAN handpicked by the Government to deal with rogue real estate agents has been masquerading as a judge.
In 2011 Associate Justice Minister Nathan Guy appointed Paul Barber chairperson of the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.
The Tribunal was established under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, and deals with the licensing and discipline of real estate agents.
Barber is a former district court judge who claims to be 78-years-old.
In 2009 Attorney General Chris Finlayson appointed Barber as an acting district court judge to help reduce caseloads in the civil and criminal courts.
He would have been 72 at the time – two years older than the mandatory retirement age for judges in New Zealand.
However, under section 10 of the District Courts Act 1947 a former judge who has reached the age of 70 years may be appointed for a period of up to one year, or for two or more periods not exceeding four years in the aggregate. But Section 10 also specifies that each appointment must not exceed one year if the person is 72-years-old as in Barber’s case.
If that provision of the law was applied as it should have in the case of Barber, he would not have held a judge’s warrant when he was appointed chairman of the Real Estate Disciplinary Tribunal.
But despite that, during his tenure as chairman he has continued to refer to himself as a judge.
But last night Barber admitted he was not a judge.
He claimed it was his staff who referred to him as a judge, but conceded it was not something he actively discouraged.
He said he also wasn’t concerned about exposed as a fraud.
But there’s other things with Barber’s story that don’t quite ring true.
On his bio, Barber says he was a senior commercial partner with Young Swan McKay & Co in Wellington from 1963 until his appointment as a District Court Judge in 1981. He retired from the Bench in 1997 but continued to hold an acting warrant up until a few years ago
However, if Barber is 78, as he claims, he would have been a ‘senior partner’ at just 26 – unprecedented in New Zealand legal history.
We’ll have more on this story in the next few days.
In fact as Cook points out Barber himself states that he is not a judge. Cook is obviously relying on the interview he conducted with Barber, the tape of which LF now has. Barber is clearly heard blaming the REAA’s staff for calling him a judge. When question about the title appearing on Judgments he has written, Barber again blames “the Staff”. Frankly however Mr Paul Barbers excuses are just not credible. Barber has in our view been using the title “judge” when he has not legitimate entitlement to title for very good reason.
LF back in 2011 believed that Barber’s appointment had been rushed through, that Nathan Guy had appointed him to deal with one problem in particular, the Martin Honey case, a case that Nathan Guy and fellow National Party list MP Jackie Blue had been caught red-handed corruptly meddling in.
Our views are now strengthened by Stephen Cooks discoveries, that Paul Barber is not a judge, he is not noted on the current published District Court Roll, his last warrant (that of Acting District Court Judge), as Cook points out, being granted in 2009 under the hand of Attorney General Chris Findlayson.
The District Courts Act 1947 provides for the appointment of “Acting judges” which in Barbers case could only ever have been for a very brief tenure, having regard to sections (5) and (7) of the Act and Paul Barbers advancing years. The question is however how old was Paul Barber when he retired from the bench in 1997, had he for instance taken early retirement?
10 Acting Judges
(1) The Governor-General may at any time during the illness or absence of any Judge, or for any other temporary purpose, by warrant under his hand appoint 1 or more Judges to hold office for such time as is specified in the said warrant. Every such Judge shall be paid such salary, not exceeding the amount payable by law to Judges, as may be appropriated by Parliament for the purpose.
(2) No person shall be appointed as a Judge under this section unless he is eligible for appointment as a Judge pursuant tosection 5, save that a person otherwise qualified who has attained the age of 70 years (including a Judge who has retired after attaining that age) may be appointed as a Judge under this section for a period not exceeding 12 months, or for 2 or more periods not exceeding 4 years in the aggregate.
Source: District Courts Act 1947
Cook also questions Barber as to why he remains listed as a Judge in Auckland’s telephone Directory, Barber explaining that the listing had simply not been updated. There is also the issue of Paul Barber’s online material, a matter which Cook did not address. Take for example Paul Barbers linkedin profile;
In fact one would actually have to question whether someone of Paul Barbers advancing years would have even been responsible for the creation of a linkedin profile at all, one that had to have been created after he retired on the 28th February 1997, linkedin having only been around since circa 2003. Was it in fact Paul Barber who created the above account or one of his “Staff”?
Was it perhaps someone at the REAA, or perhaps the Department of Justice, who had though it a good idea, a little something that might assist in supporting their judge scam? After-all, its pretty well-known that a Linkedin profile will nowadays always feature prominently on page one of any Google search.
Barber has in fact received eight acting Judges warrants since officially retiring on the 28th February 1997, that’s again according to the Govt gazette
- 3rd March, 1997, one year term
- 3rd March 1998, one year term
- 3rd March 2000, one tear term
- 3rd March 2001, two year term
- 3rd March 2003 two year term
- 3rd March 2007, two year term
- 1st April 2009, two year term
- 1st April 2011, two year term
So on the face of it it would seem that since being required to retire by law at age 70 Barber, at least according to the New Zealand Government Gazette has in fact done no such thing.
Barber has instead done exactly the opposite by using loop holes in the law. Barber has managed to grab the financial benefit derived from no less than a total of EIGHT judicial rebirths, three periods of one year and five of two years. So who’s pocket has Paul Barber been pissing in then? Barber certainly seems to have well and truly exceeded that aggregated 4 year maximum that Stephen Cook speaks of in his Whale Oil article
More importantly, to whom does he owe more than a few political favours? How many other District Court Judges have received this post retirement anti ageist remuneration package?
Judges are required to retire for very good reason, their ability to make comebacks are also specifically limited by the law for very good reasons. As a Law Commission paper concerned with this issue noted when published in February 2012, only a matter of days before Barbers appointment to the READT chair:
There is also a danger, routinely rehearsed in the academic literature, that judges approaching the retirement age could make decisions favourable to the government in order to secure an acting appointment. The Court of Appeal noted in R v Te Kahu that the appointment of temporary sheriffs in Scotland failed the requirement of an independent and impartial tribunal required by Scots law, which had incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights.79 Also, the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the use of acting judges in the Ontario Provincial Court (being former judges appointed to serve “during pleasure”) was inconsistent with the requirement for an independent judiciary provided for in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.80
The law is clear, there is no possibility of Paul Barber being a district Court Judge as the REAA are continuing to claim, The NZ Govt gazette certainly has no record, and besides Barber has admitted that he is not now a judge. The Department of Justice, Nathan Guy, the REAA and various other online material, the publishers of which remain unknown, are not quite so sure of Barbers status however, nor did they seem to be aware of the aggregate maximum of 4 years that Stephen Cook notes.
So Mr Paul Barber is not a Judge, at least as at the end of March 2013 thats certainly an indisputable FACT, so why then the pretence? Why have the Minister, Nathan Guy, the Solicitor General and the REAA, other qualified lawyers including Paul Barber’s deputy READT chair, Kate Davenport QC, not spotted the elephant in the room, the fact that as at the 31st March 2013 it seems to us that Paul Barber ceased to legitimately occupy the READT chair?
Frankly, we here at LF suspect its because the Govt and the REAA had been using the ruse to cover for the fact that not only was Barber not a judge but he was no longer a qualified lawyer either, by qualified lawyer we mean that in the strict sense, Barber was and is not a registered member of the bar, he has no lawful right to practice law or even call himself a lawyer.
Again in the strict sense, that fact prohibited Paul Barber from lawfully being appointed to the position of READT Chairperson or remaining in the position in the manner that’s prescribed and required by the Act;
Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal
100 Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal established(1) This section establishes a body to be known as the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.
(2) The Tribunal consists of—
(a) a person to act as chair of the Tribunal, who must be a barrister or solicitor with not less than 7 years’ legal experience; and
(b) up to 5 other members, at least one of whom must be a licensee.(3) The members of the Tribunal are appointed by the Minister.(4) The Minister must consult with REINZ when making the first appointment of a licensee under subsection (2)(b).(5) The Minister must designate one of the members referred to in subsection (2)(b) as the deputy chairperson of the Tribunal.
Section 100(2)(b): amended, on 12 December 2012, by section 6 of the Real Estate Agents Amendment Act 2012 (2012 No 112).
Source: Real Estate Agents Act 2008
Paul Barber, in short, did not meet the criteria, in order to be a practicing Barrister and Solicitor, one is therefore required to be on the Law Society register, Barber has not in fact been on the register of Barristers and Solicitors since 2008.
This could then explain the ruse used by the minister Nathan Guy. If Barber had in fact been a judge, as is falsely claimed, then he could avoid the need to have been registered as a practicing barrister and solicitor.
This also points to the fact that Guy had only ever intended the corrupt judge be at the REAA while he buried the corruption of Nathan Guy and Jackie Blue, perhaps only twelve months.
But this also then means that every single decision made by any Tribunal chaired or presided over by Paul Barber at least those made beyond March 31st 2013 unlawful as Barber had absolutely no standing in law and a quorum had not been present at those hearings. Every one of those decisions, now voided, need to be recalled and struck out.
This is what is commonly referred to as a constitutional crisis, where a Minister has used his powers to abuse the law. Nathan Guy and Paul Barber had to have been aware of what they had engaged in, which could well explain Barbers threatening manner towards investigative journalist Stephen Cook once Barber realised that Cook was on to the fraudulent behaviour and the failure to disclose.
This behaviour then calls into question not only Paul Barbers appointment to the REAA in 2012, but also Barbers receipt in May 2012 of a QSO and the many other Tribunal appointments he has benefitted financially from, including the Taxation Review Authority, Customs Appeal Authority and of course the Accident Compensation Appeals he has heard since retiring. Was Barber in the Governments pocket? If his current behaviour is any indication he certainly seems to be in someones pocket at the moment.
Of course all of this could also help explain Paul Barbers extraordinary bias whenever it has happened to be a “friend” of the National party that’s been called to account for their fraudulent behaviour.