Observation by the Owl – EPMU Foundation Trust

The EPMU Foundation Trust 2011 accounts have been filed:


  1. 2011 Loss of $61k (2010) Loss of $82k
  2. Equity – negative $2.2M (therefore technically insolvent but retains “on-going concern” status due to the EPMU not calling in their $5.6M loan (payable on demand) – see Observation
  3. EPMU loan has been repaid $652k (this was done by selling down investments) $947k realized
  4. Staff have numbers of 2 employees on an average of $100k
  5. There are prior period error adjustments (read observation)

The Owl’s observation:

So the Foundation sells assets to repay back loans – doesn’t that sound a lot like State Assets sales model – have the Foundation and EPMU stolen Nationals financial policy? There is a difference that National is using the money to invest in infrastructure and not pay back debt.

So what will the EPMU do with their $657,000 from the Foundation – invest or pay operational/infrastructure costs – we will only know once the EPMU have filed their accounts which were due a little while ago.

But here is the one that gets The Owl really going…there are “Prior Period errors (Note 19)”.

Miscalculations on sick leave. I repeat miss-calculations on employees SICK LEAVE.

How is it that Unions – the guardians of employee rights can’t get their own house in order?

I refer also to the previous Union accounts which I wrote about that were qualified by their auditors because the Union couldn’t calculate the holiday provision. There is only 2 staff. Lets count together 1…2

Really this type of error by Unions is unacceptable.

If I was a member….


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • guest

    Who/ what is The Owl?

    • le sphincter

      L’owl is a Busybody !
      Treasury makes mistakes in forecasts. 
      IRD makes mistakes in Kiwsaver- mine was $3k worth of double payment to provider.
      Transit made $120 mill accounting error and ran out of money last year, borrowed money from Auckland Council……. LMAO !

      There is a certain type of ‘obsessive compulsive’ disorder for those who fixate on the minor mistakes of others. Normally they are satisfied by pointed out the many errors of other obsessive compulsives who work in the accounting field

      • Callum

        Errors are errors, getting an audit opinion qualified over holiday pay entitlements is management incompetence especially with only two staff. First step for the auditor, request info on holiday pay. Received nothing or received incomplete and unsupportable. Second step, get us info or we will qualify on it. A properly managed organisation would go and find the info or recontruct the records and have the balances agreed in wrting by the staff. No qualification then. These guys didn’t do that, exposing themselves to an ermployment dispute that will unecessarily cost the union members. Yet if one of their members was similarly affected by an employer they would be all over it like a rash.

      • CJA

         Phil it’s not hard mate re holiday pay. How many days leave are you owed? To work this out divide the number of holidays you get in a year (usually 20 i.e. four weeks) by the number of working days in the year (roughly 260 working days) and you get what holidays you accrue each day. Divide your salary by number of working days in the year (roughly 260) to get what you get paid each day. Times the number of holidays owing by what you get paid each day and voila you get the amount of holiday pay owed to each employee less any leave taken during the year. In all honesty if they were using a payroll provider or payroll software this would more than likely just spit this figure out.

      • In Vino Veritas

        Schpink. The irony of the leave error is beyond you, clearly. Also, there is a difference in a mistake in a set of Statutory Accounts and your kiwi saver account.

      • Neil

        That’s a bit of a nasty dis there le Spink.  He is simply doing for those of us that read this blog what our MSM should be doing for the public of this country.  Disclosure – how hard is that – all his material is publicly obtained so I have no problem him doing my research for me – and he certainly hasn’t posted his own OPINIONS here.

    • gazzaw

      A resident forensic expert in the analysis of NZ trade union & registered societies accounts & financial activities. Is that a fair assessment Owl?

      • Oldaccountant

         he has said he has a strong audit background. He has definately got me interested over the last six months

    • SJ00

      He is like The Batman but runs around fighting unions (you could say he still fights jokers).

      OWL: Would love to see the opening story on the news, ‘Unions follow Nationals lead and sells assets.’.

      We need a show on TV that asks the exact questions The Owl has, one would like to think Campbell Live or Close Up would be taking on that role. I don’t care if they bash the left or the right. Just start pulling people up on the bullshit and the lies. People are getting away with this shit for too long. This say one thing and do another stuff is driving me nuts and needs to be exposed.

      • Owl

         thank you for the compliment but no I am not Batman, nor a Union buster – as I have always said – MUNZ and Helen Kelly asked me as a ratepayer and taxpayer to support them over the Ports dispute – I said “ok” but let me do some research first. It was then I found out they don’t file returns, unions make big losses and don’t provide good information to their members.

        I think I am a member advocate at the end of the day – someone wrote that once before – I just take information from the public domain and make observations.

        I draw no conclusions on their activities and always apologise if incorrect.

        My personal opinion is that they say one thing and do another. I don’t think the MED follows up that well on incorporated societies and there doesn’t seem to be any recourse for members to question the annual accounts. It is just a forum to disclose information for the members.

        I find the EMPU Foundation Trust extremely interesting as they transferred the debt back in 2006? from EMPU accounts to the Foundation. $6M according to their notes. I think following through for members so they can understand is a good thing.

    • Someone who thinks unions should follow the law….whereas Le poohole thinks unions should be given a free pass…much like dodgy Labour politicians.

      • le Sphincter

        Didnt Michelle Boag find  some ‘accounting errors’ when she took over as President of the National party ?
        As for following the law, didnt the figures  not add up for Bill Englishs  attempt to get the taxpayer to pay  for him to live in his own house ?Luckily for Bill , Key then changed the rules so every minister got a bulk payment no matter who’s house they lived in.I just pointed out , as far as  rules go , the bigger the organisation the bigger the stuff ups.The worst you can find  is a little discrepancy over leave provisions ?Even L’epaulard has been in business with individuals who  arent very good with numbers !! Quelle horreur

      • Oldaccountant

         Reply to Le Sphincter:
        don’t you think transferring a $6m liability to a Foundation interesting. I do not think anyone is interested in the sick leave error other than it is funny.
        I like the storyline by Owl. Asset sales by the union in full view to repay debt on a business which has negative equity.

      • No she didn’t…she actually tried to hide the accounting errors that were reported to the SFO by my Father….Geoff Thompson is lucky he is still able to be a director.

    • jake

      The Owl is a dole bludger.

      • Owl

         lol – the OWL is not a dole bludger – never have been on the dole or any other benefit…haven’t claimed any sort of benefit in my life. Always been game fully employed. Even was a union member back in the early 80’s. Pulled out because they wanted to go on strike for $2.00 increase per week – the employers were offering $1.00. I remember my pay packet would of gone from $97.00 to $99.00 and back then I was well paid as an 18 year old just out of school. Couldn’t work out why I should disrupt my boss who gave me a break in life to then work against him. They were great employers.

      • gazzaw

        Just another socialist lie Jake? Or maybe a baseless assumption.

    • Guest2

       hmmm who is the Owl? I agree

  • AnonWgtn

    2 Staff – looks like a rort going on.

    • Johnbronkhorst

      2 staff??? wow then I must have seen both of them yesterday travelling together in 2 separate cars in Wellington. They must have been in New Plymouth last Fridfay because I saw both of them there too. Man they get around!!

      • le sphincter

        the daft dutchman makes the simple mistake  for confusing the EPMU Foundation for the  EPMU ( Union).
        Then again , unlike most dutchies, is quite stupid

      • Johnbronkhorst

        The stupidity is your again sphink…since sarcasm is beyond you!!!

    • excuse me

      I can’t imagine that there are only two staff. I interpreted Owl’s note as saying that there were two staff earning over $100k – that’s the threshold above which numbers of employees in each “band” of $10,000 are required to be published.

      • Oldaccountant

         it is in there front sheet on the Charities Commission website – they have to disclose – it say 2 so the Owl is right

      • Callum

        There are two staff in the trust that is controlled by the union, the union itself has other staff.

      • Oldaccountant

         reply to Cullum: They are two seperate entities therefore the Foundation has declared 2 staff as full-time employees. So by my calculation that is $100k each. The accounts say that the EMPU provides services to the Foundation at no cost.

        I think what owl is saying that the Foundation has realised assets to pay EMPU debt – just like asset sales and draws a parallel to the National Party policy. The cash is realised and paid to the EMPU – so the EMPU accounts will show whether it is re-invested or put into operational costs to keep running.

        I think it is a good observation by owl.

  • Peter

    What interests me is how can a trustee fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to the trust and it’s beneficiaries by donating funds to political parties, given their continuing losses and negative equity.

    • Johnbronkhorst

      Living out of the till. Directly taking union dues and paying them to the labour party?

    • CJA

       Probably depends on who the beneficiary is but yes in principle I definitely agree. Would be interesting to see what the trust deed looks like.

    • A little bit like Matt Blomfield

    • le sphincter

      again you are confusing EPMU Foundation with EPMU  ( Union).

      This is NCEA level  basic reading comprehension

      • CJA

         As a related party who had $6 million of debt transferred to it I think it is quite relevant.

      • Guest2

        The EMPU owns the foundation because the Foundation owes the union members $6million !!!!!
        It only has assets of $3million. Well done owl whoever you are ?

  • Bunswalla

    At least when National wanted to partially sell some state assets they came out and said so well before a General Election, giving the voting public the opportunity to accept or reject that course of action.

    A dollar to a knob of goat poo the scum union leaders didn’t tell the members they intended to sell assets and ask for a vote.

    • le sphincter

      Not the same thing.These are only minor assets, they are not selling the whole business and becoming a shareholder

      • In Vino Veritas

        And neither are National selling the whole business Schpink. This whole expose by Owl is showing entities who don’t pass the “smell” test (and you should know SChpink). If these were say, finance companies, you’d be the first to be bleating about them.
        Wouldnt it be funny if EPMU received monies from ACC for projects and some of that ended up with the Labour party by way of donation for instance?
        Isn’t it funny how with many of the Unions struggling financially (and for relevance) that a good few of the Union top brass have suddenly run for parliament (or got in on the list?) Hmmm.

      • Oldaccountant

        Vino but the EMPU does receive money from ACC see their accounts

      • In Vino Veritas

        Oldaccountant – No!! A Government Department using tax payers money to pay a Union to donate to a political party? how can it be?

      • Johnbronkhorst

        Agree sphinky…..This is way worse (EPMU) as they never asked the members permision to use the money in this way, they never even told them directly that this is what they had done (only via these accounts). So, typical union, relying on the ignorance and appathy of it’s membership, to attempt to circumvent the electoral/democratic process…via the labour party!!!

  • Guest2

     so when are the EMPU financial accounts due out? Where do I find them?

  • Mediaan

    Great, thanks Owl.
    I know that the sick leave “prior period error” they had to correct seems small, and maybe is just an illustration of their poor accounting, but …

    … Sick leave is usually around 5 days a year I think. What frauds and devious acts can be done with it? Can it be increased to say 30 days a year, without disclosure, retrospectively, and also subject to cash payout of unused entitlement? Or to 200 days year, similarly?

    That would be a cute little extra for the (um, two) staff. You have only used five days due to sickness this year, they would say, so here is your cash payout of your 195 days unused sick leave for the immediate past year.

    Then – because they just thought of it – pop it into the accounts late.

  • Unionaccounts

    I want a full copy of my union accounts? Where can I get them from!!!

    • Callum

      Ask your union rep for a COMPLETE set, the ones they are filing publicly are incomplete as they do not include any notes.