Home' Greymouth Star : June 24th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 5
Nearly 200 investors who got about
$30 million of “fictitious profits” from
David Ross’s Ponzi scheme could face
claims from liquidators following their
success in a test case.
The liquidators are reviewing the
position of 193 of Ross’ investors in
light of yesterday ’s decision, in which
Wellington lawyer Hamish McIntosh
was ordered to repay $454,000.
Mr McIntosh last week lost a Court of
Appeal fight to keep his name secret.
Described by Justice Alan Mackenzie
yesterday as an “innocent investor”, Mr
McIntosh borrowed $500,000 from
Westpac to put into the fraudster’s
business in 2007.
His investment had purportedly
grown to $954,000 when he closed his
portfolio four and a half years later and
the liquidators of Ross’s since-collapsed
business went to the High Court at
Wellington in March to recover the
While Justice Mackenzie ruled
Mr McIntosh had a defence to the
liquidators’ claim for the $500,000
original investment, the Wellingtonian
was yesterday ordered to pay back the
$454,000 of “fictitious profits”.
As a defence to the claim, Mr McIntosh
had argued his position had changed
and he had embarked on a residential
property development since receiving
There was no suggestion Mr McIntosh
had any reason to suspect when he got
the money back in 2011 that Ross was
running a Ponzi scheme.
But the judge said by the time Mr
McIntosh had entered into the building
contract in July 2013 he was well aware
the profit paid to him was fictitious.
Ross Asset Management collapsed
in November 2012, around the time
it was raided by the Financial Markets
Authority. It was later revealed Ross
was running a Ponzi scheme and he was
jailed for 10 years and 10 months.
“ I do not consider that, following the
first public revelation of RAM’s position,
a reasonable person in the respondent ’s
position could have held a reasonable
belief that the payments were valid
and would not be set aside,” Justice
RAM’s liquidators said they intend to
push for ward with the remaining two
test cases due to go to court later this
year. They are also reviewing the position
of a number of other investors.
One of the liquidators, John Fisk,
said about 193 investors may now face
claims for recovery of $30m of “fictitious
profits”. —NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
on safety law
The unions have found a friend in a leading
employer group which is now calling on the
Government to show leadership and press
ahead with the health and safety law that has
been parked temporarily.
Association (Northern) originally supported
the delay but now says the Government should
show real leadership in driving through the
Health and Safety Reform Bill or too many
New Zealanders would continue to be injured
or die in the workplace.
“If there was one piece of legislation
demanding a lead role from Government, this is
it,” said the EMA’s general manager of advocacy
and industry relations, Mark Champion, in a
letter last week to MPs on the select committee
considering the bill.
“This is what the Pike River inquiry and
subsequent inquiries around issues of health
and safety have found,” he said.
“This is why we must act. New Zealand’s
‘she’ll be right’ attitude just isn’t working for our
workforce.” Mr Champion said the bill was “too
important to water down or get wrong”.
He was referring to a dilution of the bill by
National MPs which would allow businesses
with fewer than 20 employees to refuse to have
a health and safety representative upon request
of an employee.
At present, and in the original bill, a health
and safety rep had to be elected if an employee
asked for one.
Mr Champion said the idea of a threshold for
compliance was “deeply flawed”.
He asked why a business of 27 largely clerical-
based employees should have to comply with
the law and a trenching company of, say, 12 staff
not having to comply even though trenching
was clearly a more dangerous activity.
“ To require these prescriptive regimes is
counterproductive and counter-intuitive.” Mr
Champion said the workplace enforcement
regime needed to be well-resourced and active.
The EMA welcomed the addition of 60
workplace safety inspectors but it would take
another 30 to meet International Labour
Organisation recommended ratios.
The week that the bill was due to be reported
back from the transport and industrial relations
committee, the Government announced it
would delay the report-back by a few months.
ackbenchers were said to have voiced concerns
at caucus about the effects on small business.
Prime Minister John Key said he wanted more
time to get it right but that was about a month
Mr Champion’s letter is a departure from the
EMA’s original position on the Government ’s
decision to delay the report of the bill from
select committee by a couple of months.
At that time, chief executive Kim Campbell
said the EMA supported the delay if it mean
getting the right result for employers and
“Let ’s have good law, not quick law because
health and safety is too important to get wrong,”
Mr Campbell said.
Mr Champion’s letter was the subject of
questions to Workplace Relations and Safety
Minister Michael Woodhouse.
Iain Lees-Galloway, Labour’s industrial
relations spokesman, said later that the letter
from the EMA, which represents thousands of
small businesses, was “a slap in the face for the
Unions had all voiced their concerns about the
direction the bill was going in.
“Now employers are speaking up about the
Government ’s woeful management of the
reform process too.
“No one has any idea what further changes
the Government intends to make to the bill and
that ’s leaving everyone very ner vous about what
happens next. ”
One News reported last night Justice Minister
Amy Adams has asked Mr Woodhouse to
include a new measure in the bill to allow charges
of corporate manslaughter although that is not
thought to be the reason the legislation was
delayed. — N ZM E-New Zealand Herald
Earnslaw back in water
TSS Earnslaw will return to ser vice next
Monday after six weeks of TLC.
The vintage steamship was lowered into the
Frankton Arm on Monday after six weeks of
maintenance at its Kelvin Peninsula slipway.
A section of the 103-year-old vessel’s hull
plating and framing around the propeller
area has been replaced, as have the pistons,
cylinders and rings on both engines.
Real Journeys spokeswoman Tsehai Tiffin
said the 330-tonne vessel was towed to its
berth at Steamer Wharf in Q ueenstown
by two other company vessels, because its
custom-made pistons still needed adjusting.
Project engineer Drew Bryant said the
sur vey had uncovered “no major surprises”.
Two Fiordlander vessels have been plying
the Walter Peak Station route in Earnslaw ’s
absence. — Otago Daily Times
TSS Earnslaw is lowered into the Frankton Arm, on Monday.
The sudden and devastating
demise of honey bee hives,
known overseas as colony
collapse disorder, may threaten
New Zealand’s $5.1 billion
thousands of colonies were lost
over last spring.
North Island beekeepers
spanning the Coromandel, Great
Barrier, Wairarapa and Taranaki
suffered significant losses with
some reporting up to 95% of adult
bees disappearing from hives.
However, a lack of reporting
to the Ministry for Primary
Industries or the Environmental
Protection Agency meant there
was no certainty about whether
the sudden collapses were linked,
the New Zealand Apiculture
Conference in Taupo heard.
The comments came during
a panel session including Dr
Oksana Borowik, a commercial
beekeeper and geneticist, Don
Macleod, a pesticide consultant
who works with the National
Beekeepers’ Association, and
Dr Mark Goodwin, head of the
honey bees and pollination unit
at Plant and Food Research.
Borowik was the first to report
a sudden departure of bees at
her Coromandel hives between
August and December. Hives
were discovered with only 200
young worker bees, the queen
and plenty of pollen and nectar
for them to eat with few dead
bees found near the hive. The
remaining bees were riddled
with Nosema Apis and Nosema
Ceranae pathogens, which attack
the honey bees’ gut, as was a
recently discovered pathogen,
Lotmaria Passim, she said.
DNA testing by Gisborne-
based dnature confirmed the
presence of the pathogens.
None of the bees that left
the hives had been collected,
meaning little was known
whether they carried pathogens,
but it is understood nosema
rapidly ages the bees, meaning
they can leave the hive earlier,
and also affects their homing
abilities to return to the hive.
Speaking from the floor, a
visiting United States beekeeper
told the conference the symptoms
were very similar to the colony
collapse disorder experienced by
beekeepers in the US. In 2008,
after reports of disappearing
adult bees, the US Department
of Agriculture’s research unit
sur veyed 20% of the country’s
2.44 million colonies. Sur veyed
beekeepers reported a total loss
of about 36% of their honey bee
colonies, up about 14% from the
previous winter, according to the
research on its website.
Colony collapse is the subject
of international scientific debate,
with the blame variously placed
on climate change, pesticides,
over-crowding or pests. The
recent spate of unexplained
bee deaths comes after New
Zealand’s wild bee colonies
were effectively wiped out by
the arrival of the varroa mite in
2000, which halved the country’s
When the panel asked the
400-strong conference how many
had experienced hive deaths with
symptoms described by Borowik
and other Coromandel apiaries,
roughly a quarter of the room
raised their hands, but only one
had actually reported the case.
Macleod said to date MPI had
only recieved 12 reports of hive
deaths, and the agency was not
necessarily able to help because
of the uncertainty over the cause
Goodwin said the government
is now funding further
investigation into the sudden
deaths. He told the conference
that correlation does not equal
causation and because there
was so little data it would
be dangerous to jump to
Macleod said the baseline for
average hive deaths in a typical
season is unknown, and New
Zealand beekeepers did not have
a habit of talking about hive
Asian demand for manuka
honey has seen the price for all
New Zealand honey increase,
amid a global honey shortage.
Bees produced $187 million
of exported honey in the June
2014 year, up 8% by volume
and almost 30% by value on the
The number of registered
beekeepers increased 12% in
2013-14 to 4814, and is nearly
back to pre-varroa levels.
Meanwhile, total hive numbers
reached 500,000, an increase
of 55,000 on the previous
year. About 750 commercial
beekeepers accounted for more
than 90% of those hives while
as owning 50 hives or fewer,
numbered 4590. In July last year,
there were just 800 members
across the two bee industry
industry are seeking government
commodity levies for honey and
the creation of a single national
body by April next year.
The conference will consider
industry unification, which
Beekeepers’ Association and the
Federated Farmers’ Bee Industry
Group become a single body.
Fears over bees’ demise
A lawyer for the man convicted of killing
Christchurch girl Jade Bayliss claims there
was too much reliance on DNA in his trial.
Jeremy McLaughlin was jailed for life
with a minimum non-parole period of
23 years for the murder in 2013.
He appealed his conviction in the
Court of Appeal in Wellington yesterday.
A jury found he strangled 13-year-old
Jade during a home invasion.
McLaughlin admitted twice going into
the Barrington home and stealing items,
and using petrol to burn it down on the
same day the girl’s body was found.
His lawyer, Robert Lithgow, QC, said
too much weight was given to evidence
of McLaughlin’s DNA under the victim’s
fingernail. He also said the jury was
wrongly inclined to find McLaughlin
guilty because he lied about committing
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
Jade murder appeal
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