The Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand (“AWINZ”), an allegedly fictitious organisation which had vast law enforcement authority, had its status as an “Approved Organisation” under s. 121 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 revoked on 13 January 2011. The Revocation of the Declaration of its “Approved Organisation” was signed by the Hon. David Carter, Minister of Agriculture, and was gazetted on 16 December 2010 (Notice No. 9586). The revocation was formally requested by AWINZ trustees, who wrote to the Minister on the 7th of October 2009 stating:
“The Trustees have not taken the decision to seek revocation lightly, but we are no longer willing to be subjected to the intrusion which MAF Assurance and Risk Directorate has subjected AWINZ over the past 16 months or so, nor are we able or willing to meet the standards that MAF Assurance and Risk now seek to impose 10 years after we came into existence. Furthermore, we are not prepared to continue to provide information to MAF on our operations only to find that MAF will readily hand that information to Grace Haden.…” [Emphasis added]
But what exactly was it that the four trustees claimed in October 2009 had “came into existence .. ten years ago”? Why were they so averse to being held accountable by MAF and those such such as Ms Haden (who sought information from MAF under the Official Information Act) concerned about the operation of their alleged “charitable trust”, allegedly established on 1 March 2000 and subsequently registered as a charity with the Charities Commission in 2007?
Since 2006 Mrs Haden, a former NZ Police prosecutor turned registered private investigator, has been alleging that AWINZ is a fictitious organisation engaging in fraud and that it has never been constituted as an incorporated charitable trust under the Charitable Trust Act 1957, despite firm assurances given in writing by the Trust Deed’s “Settlor”, Auckland barrister Neil Edward Wells, to MAF and two successive Ministers of Agriculture, that this would be done.
Mr Neil Wells has alleged in a sworn affidavit that the “original trust deed” upon which AWINZ was “established” was executed on 1 March 2000″, and this claim is also made in the AWINZ “Deed of Trust and Revocation” dated 5 December 2006, available on the Charities Commission website.
However, this 2006 deed differs significantly in content from the copy of the unsigned AWINZ Trust Deed supplied to the Minister of Agriculture the Hon. John Luxton on 21 November 1999 when Mr Wells, who signed himself as AWINZ “Trustee”, made an application for “Approved Organisation” status. For example, section 14 (pages 10-11) , in the signed 2000 deed, dealing “Private Pecuniary Profit … and Exceptions” – ss. 14(a) to 14 (d) – is very different from that supplied to the Minister in 1999 (“Appendix V – Charitable Deed”)
Wells wrote to the MAF Biosecurity Authority on 22 August 1999 regarding “approved organisation” for AWINZ, enclosing a “Notice of Intent” dated 20 August 1999 from the four AWINZ Trustsees, in which he wrote:
“Function of the Institute: A charitable trust has[past tense] been formed by Deed of Trust as the “Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand” (AWINZ). It is being registered under Part II of the Charitable Trusts Act 1957. [Emphasis added] The founding members are:
The Purpose of the Trust is to promote the welfare of animals …
So how could the four trustees claim on 20 August 1999 that their trust “has been formed” when the 2006 AWINZ deed states:
“On the 1st day of March 2000 the Settlor [Neil Edward Wells] established a trust for charitable purposes by creating the Trust provided for in this deed…… The deed revokes the deed executed on 1st March 2000 and substitutes this deed in its place. Despite the revocation of the deed dated 1st March 2000 it is declared that the trust established on that date is continued by this deed.” [Emphasis added].
It is clear that the AWINZ “Deed of Trust and Revocation” dated 5 December 2006 on the Charities website is a fraud in the sense that it cannot be as claimed, a substitute for the deed that was allegedly executed on 1st March 2000, as the latter cannot be established as authentic.
Proof that the 1st March 2000 deed has been fabricated can be found in the AWINZ Board Minutes of 10th May 2006, attended by three of the “original” trustees Neil Wells, Nuala Grove and Graeme Coutts (apologies were received for the fourth trustee Sarah Giltrap).
At that meeting Wyn Hoadley was appointed trustee despite the fact that: (1) it was noted in the minutes “that the original signed deed [allegedly dated 1 March 2000] had been misfiled [i.e. lost]” (2) Neither sections 7.2, or s. 7.2(a) or s. 7.2(b) in terms of numbering, quoted in the minutes as the basis as authorisation for the appointment of Hoadley, appear in the signed 1 March 2000 Trust Deed. The latter only has a section 7 with no numbering divisions. The unsigned trust deed sent by AWINZ “Trustee” Neil Wells to the Hon. John Luxton on 21 November 1999 as part of the application for “Approved Organisation” status has sections 7.2(1) and 7.2(2).
Perhaps these may appear to be pedantic points, however, what is glaringly obvious is that the 1 March 2000 trust deed has its first six pages (sections 1-10) without any numbered subsections and then under s. 11 on page 7 it jumps to an erratic subsection numbering system through to page 9 before reverting to the absence of subsections. Furthermore the 1 March 200o Trust Deed lodged with MAF differs significantly from that supplied by AWINZ solicitors to the defendant (Grace Haden).
It is noteworthy that the unsigned copy of the AWINZ Minutes dated 10 May 2006, record that “Deed needs to be finalised in the next four weeks” and “Neil and with Wyn will work on a revision of the deed”.
The revised deed that Neil and Wyn produced was the one that appears on the Charities website dated 5th December 2006. It purports, as noted, to be linked back to the 1 March 2000 deed, but clearly it is a new trust deed.
Grace Haden alleges that the Trust Deed dated 1 March 2000, signed by founding “trustees” Wells, Grove, Gitrap and Coutts, is a fraud. It differs significantly from the copy of the trust deed of the same date submitted to MAF in terms of section 7.1 to 7.5; 11.1 to 11.11; 12.1 to 12.3; 13.1 to 13.4; 14.1, 14.4; 15.1 to 15.2; and in terms of the definitions of “Secretary”, “Treasurer” and “Trust”.
Following the 10 May 2006 Board Meeting, Wyn Hoadley and Neil Wells, stitched together a new AWINZ trust deed allegedly executed on 5 December 2006 and allegedly based it on the “original trust deed” dated 1 March 2000. Two new trustees had been added by 14 August 2006: Wyn Hoadley, allegedly appointed 10 May 2006 and Thomas Stanley Didovich, added 14 August 2006.
Remarkably, the minutes of the AWINZ Board meeting dated 14 August 2006, record:
“Neil [Wells] advised that the original signed deed had been located in a file held in a security safe.
Even more remarkable was the decision of the “trustees” to remove from the Trust Deed all references to the Common Seal, present in: s. 17 of both the signed 2000 Trust Deed and the copy of it supplied by AWINZ to the MAF, as well as recorded in s. 19 of the Trust Deed supplied to the Minister in November 1999.
The absence of a Seal on the “Deed of Trust and Revocation” dated 5 December 2006, proves that this Trust Deed has not been executed in compliance with the original deed of trust, allegedly dated 1 March 2000. Any changes to an existing trust must comply with all the requirements set out in the executed deed of trust.
At best The Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand (AWINZ) constituted an entity in the minds of its creators. There is no evidence that its Deed of Trust was ever executed as claimed on 1 March 2000.
The gazetted notice granting the unincorporated charitable trust AWINZ “approved status” (Notice No. 1703) was dated 18 January 2001 and took effect 28 days later. On the 8 March the letters “Inc” used in the application form, were removed from the title, when Wells alerted the minister to the fact that this was a charitable trust not an incorporated society and therefore could not use the words “Inc”. Wells however did not disclose to the minister that despite his repeated assurances to register under the Charitable Trust Act it had not been registered (incorporated) under this Act. Had this been an oversight as claimed by Wells in court at a later date this would have been a great time to have reminded him of the lack of registration of this law enforcement authority.
New developments in animal welfare. 19 January 2001
New Zealand Government Media Release