Neale Jones

Some animals are more equal than others

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Some caucus members and union delegates may get more than one vote

Tracy Watkins discusses the role of the unions in selecting Labour’s next leader.

[N]ew rules giving Labour’s grassroots a 40 per cent say, and union delegates a 20 per cent say, would not be triggered. But in a move likely to ruffle caucus feathers, Ms Coatsworth appeared to stop any prospect of a deal in its tracks, saying the leadership should be decided under Labour’s new rules – “rather than behind closed doors in the caucus room”.

That puts the leadership in limbo for the next three weeks while up to 50,000 voting papers are sent out and candidates make their pitch at a series of meetings across New Zealand.

The candidates will be expected to abide by a code of conduct – which includes no personal attacks and no big-spending campaigns – before a new leader is announced on September 15.

The new rules were an attempt by the party’s grassroots to rein in caucus after a widening rift over policy and direction. But they could drive an even deeper wedge if the party and caucus back opposing candidates and cancel each other out, because the caucus vote counts for only 40 per cent of the total.

That makes Labour’s union affiliates, whose votes count for 20 per cent, the potential king makers and could deliver the caucus a leader that a majority of MPs don’t support.

What is interesting is it appears that some members could potentially have three votes and others two, while the grassroots members get just one vote.  Read more »

While you were sleeping, Unions turn nasty

While most were enjoying their weekend a small battle raged on Twitter between the Part6A campaigners and the dodgy scumbag union rep Neale Jones (who is also thought to be one of the paid lap-bloggers at The Standard)

Neale Jones was attacking the campaigners pushing Simon Bridges for a repeal of Part6A of his Employment Relations Amendment Bill. Clearly the unions don’t want a change.

It was an amusing exchange. Here’s some of the exchange that can be found on Twitter…

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EPMU Pads Books With Pike River funds

NBR Online:

The dodgy accounting practices of the EPMU have been looked at by the NBR, in particular the accounting for donations for the Pike River miners families:

The EPMU is defending delays in establishing a trust for Pike River mine disaster families after questions were raised about its accounts.

The country’s largest private sector union was one of many organisations to take donations after the November 2010 disaster, in which 29 men were killed.

EPMU communications director Neale Jones told NBR ONLINE it had raised $750,926 by the end of last year, and money is still trickling in.

Payments totalling $344,745 were made to the Grey District Council’s fund early last year, but the balance of $406,181 is still on its accounts to December 31, 2011, published on the Societies and Trusts Online website this month.

That money had been earmarked for an educational fund for the killed miner’s families.

Questions were raised on the Whale Oil blog about the union’s lack of transparency and, at worst, whether the EPMU was using the money to boost its accounts.

Mr Jones says the union has applied to the Charities Commission to register the EPMU Pike River Family Education Trust.

Money should be dispersed within a few months, he says – likely before the two-year anniversary of the disaster.

Why has it taken this long?

“It’s quite a complex process having to work out how that’s all distributed and then seeing who’s eligible,” Mr Jones says.

While left-wingers are ranting at finance company directors let us have a look at the union who it appears are cooking their own books.

Even Rod Petricevic didn’t use funds donated for dead workers to make himself look better on paper than he was.

Has the Union borrowed money from thrid parties based on these padded accounts?

Mr Jones says the union is holding the Pike River money in a separate bank account and the interest is going back into the fund. The union’s auditors insisted if the money was being held it had to appear on its accounts.

“It’s a transparent process and our accounts are public.”

And a good thing too the accounts are public, because we can see that the EPMU is basically presenting dodgy accounts.

The fund was started prior to 2010 balance date so if the unions auditors insisted on the fund showing on the balance sheet then they should have corrected the 2010 accounts as well and not show the net balance in 2011. Maybe the prior period error of $1m is part of it?

But the bottom line is this, the treatment of the fund is wrong. The auditors can insist on showing on their books all they like but why haven’t they shown the liability for the payment out which would reduce the balance sheet. It is known as a contingent liability. To not show this is materially affecting the position shown in the accounts.

There can be only one reason to show only one side of the ledger in properly accounting for those funds and that is to make the accounts look better than they really are.

Anyone up for a Vindaloo?

I think I will swear off the curries for a bit.

Indian police have arrested two people after the macabre discovery of human skulls and bones at a restaurant on the India-Nepal border.

Police seized 70 adult human skulls and 18 limb bones from a restaurant in the town of Khoribari, about 45 kilometres west of the north eastern Indian city of Siliguri.

Police said their investigations into the case are continuing.