Worzels World - Worzel's Fraud Report
I like to insert the occasional joke into my prose. They are not always funny but they are sometimes clever. Today’s article is about a fairly clever but very sad joke known as the Mangawhai Wastwater scheme.
Some of you are tired of me going on about these issues. I know because you have told me. However I am tired of having to work for money to support this continuing fraud. So we are square. It is as good an example as any of a formula that has been used worldwide to defraud people of their wealth and freedom.
The first step is to create a problem with which to focus the attention of the people so that they can be manipulated. Usually these problems are manufactured intentionally by those who will then sail on in and bring the solution to those problems. There will be a cost for this. There are many meetings and much deliberation. Costly consultants are hired, various pockets are liberally lined.
In the case of Kaipara the conspirators working the fraud had so little respect for the intelligence of those being fleeced that they decided there was no need to create a real problem. A perceived but non-existent problem of harbour pollution was deemed good enough. So the lie that a centralised sewage system was needed was repeated sufficiently often for it to be believed by a majority. No systematic water testing was ever undertaken. The degree, if any, of pollution was never ascertained. If there was any pollution at all, its cause was not determined and remains unknown and unquantified to this day.
From then on in it was easy enough to persuade, through various means, a naive and less-than-honest CEO and through him highjack a sufficiently gullible Council to approve the thin end of a fraudulent wedge that eventually thickened to a maximum amount of sustainable debt – around $80 million. This provided ready cash which was channeled to selected contractors, consultants and corporates. Very little stayed within the district. It still provides a steady annual revenue stream from Kaipara ratepayers of between $3 - 6 million annually direct to a financial institution in return for almost no effort whatsoever.
These activities were conducted illegally and secretly. If a burglar had broken into your house and stolen your money the only difference would be that the burglar would have saved you the trouble of sending off the money yourself. These things did not and do not happen by accident. The Auditor General’s report called it ‘consultant capture‘. The plain English description is ‘fraud’. In order to avoid doing what is right the Key government passed hasty legislation via a now disgraced first term MP to suddenly make legal what was illegal and re-brand wrong as right. They called this ‘fixing the problem’.
To ensure that the fraud could continue on into the future the democratic process was then suspended and five years later remains partially suspended. Any ratepayer who refuses to support this high end criminal behavior is beleaguered and prosecuted through a court system pressured to produce a result acceptable to government and corporate interest.
I know some of you will be tired of me continuing to ’go on’ about what has happened here (I know this because you tell me) and noone likes to be constantly reminded about how they were conned, however I wanted to rise to the challenge of describing this most calculated of
robberies as concisely and succinctly as possible. The Auditor General had a go and after a year of research, a million tax dollars and four hundred pages, failed miserably. In this article I have achieved it in around 800 words and will be paid $75 for it.
If anything I have written here is incorrect or defamatory I challenge those beneficiaries to this fraud – Jack McKerchar, Carter Becker Hollings, Simon Engineering, Simpson Grierson – to sue me to clear their names. I’m willing to bet $52 million they wont. What do you reckon?
Had the people of the Kaipara been smart enough to withhold their consent and their money from the fraudsters; had central government been prepared to do the right thing by those they are paid to serve; had the courts administered justice and upheld the law as they have sworn to do, this fraud would have ceased. The infection, which may end up proving fatal, could have been removed and healing begun. They did not and the wrong goes unaddressed, the wrongdoing unconfessed and a festering sore remains on the body of the Kaipara District.
By way of disclaimer I hereby state that I Chris ‘Worzel’ Sellars am solely responsible for the views expressed in this column. They are not necessarily the views of the Mangawhai Focus or any of its editorial team.
Incidentally the harbour is now much more polluted than ever it was prior to the construction of the over cost, sub-standard, below-specification wastewater plant.
Conspirators working the fraud decided there was no need to create a real problem. A perceived but non-existent problem of harbour pollution was deemed good enough. So the lie that a centralised sewage system was needed was repeated sufficiently often for it to be believed by a majority.