Police called as Q-Topia board close their public access

As we’ve seen, Paul “Wiener” Findlay stood down from the Q-Topia Board as a result of his little online tryst.  Board Chairman Neil Hellewell took the chance to defend Paul Findlay’s actions, suggesting that it was a stitchup and Findlay would deserve apologies once the ‘real story’ was known.

To jump ahead in the narrative, we now have a Q-Topia board where one has resigned due to alleged sexual grooming of a minor, one has a police complaint for a number of breaches of the law, including illegal drug use and supply, another has publicly admitted to using illegal drugs, and a Board Chairman that, given the chance, is digging in to protect his friends instead of taking a leadership role expected of someone in charge of other people’s children.

Q-Topia, through its sub-group Forge, is a charity that offers itself as a source of help for children that are confused and vulnerable due to gender identity issues.  If the anti-gay world ever needed free ammo for an organisation that “makes confused kids gay”, they couldn’t go far wrong with Q-Topia right now.

Neil Hellewell

Neil Hellewell

It appears to me that Neil Hellewell’s judgement isn’t up to the task.  He’s is doing damage to a number of causes with his current stance, and fast running out of time to choose the right side of the argument.  Neil is a lay pastor at a church, works in the health sector with direct patient contact, and is expected to have a sound moral and ethical basis for decision making.

Whaleoil has been in contact with Neil to suggest it was time to sort this mess out, but so far Neil has only asked questions and not provided any answers to ours.

So, while we wait for events to progress against the board member currently subject to the police complaint, I thought it appropriate to share with you what happened when two members of the public, who have been trying to bring this issue up with Hellewell behind the scenes – quietly – for many months, tried to attend a public Q-Topia board meeting to explain their concerns.

Hi Cameron.

Here’s what happened at the QTopia Board meeting that [we]  tried to attend tonight.  

We both attended the QTopia Board meeting at 6.30pm [Thursday night] in Christchurch.

Two days ago this was a public meeting and anyone was welcome to come along. [X] was advised two days ago by the Secretary that the meeting started at 6.30pm and where it was.  We arrived at 6.30pm and tried to take a seat.  We were resisted and told it was a closed meeting and always had been (this is untrue).

We asked courteously if we could raise an important issue as an item of General Business.

We were declined.  The Chairman Neil Hellewell became agitated and asked us to leave.

They rang the Police.

The Board members looked shocked and flustered but the Chairman – who was appraised of the serious matters concerning the second Board member several weeks ago – absolutely refused to allow us to speak and insisted we leave, under numerous threats.

[Y] was demeaned and his employment demeaned.

As we left, [Y] explained if they were unprepared to listen to what we had to raise, and had taken no action since Chairman Neil Hellewell was informed by [X] in person in July, we would file a complaint with the Police. 


WE WILL BOTH FILE A POLICE COMPLAINT TOMORROW, IN PERSON against the second QTopia Board member who also works for a major national mental health provider with at risk youth.

We left when requested and [Y] shook hands with the Chairman as we exited the building. We were calm and courteous at all times.  As we drove away we saw the Board members spilling out on to Cashel Street,  so we went back to see if we could talk to some of the Board members, who were obviously concerned and wanted to know  what we wanted.  We advised them about our concerns of illegal activity by a second Board member, further to the Paul Findlay scandal last week.  We suggested they were exposing QTopia and themselves as Board members, to even more risk.

They were still on the phone to the Police while in the street, and we suggested we would like to talk to the Police if they wanted, many of whom we know personally because we work with them daily in other capacities. The Board members eventually went back inside and locked us out.

Our view is:

1) This is a public organisation receiving public money.

2) Until tonight, their meetings have been open to the public.

3) We have serious legal issues to raise with the Board about one of their fellow Board members who is involved in criminal acts and working with at risk children for a major Christchurch mental health provider. He is now the subject of a Police complaint.

4) We feel the other Board members have a right to know that, as they are exposed legally.

5) We were denied any opportunity to even discuss what our issues of concern were.

This is completely unacceptable and suggests a desire to cover things up, while receiving public money.  We are disquieted by:

a) the Chairman’s attitude of backing and defending Paul Findlay from whistleblowers.

b) his complete inaction since July when he knew of the serious behaviour of his second Board member.

c) What does this say about QTopia as an organisation receiving public money?

To summarise, Q-Topia is an Incorporated Society and a Registered Charity that receives private donations and public funding with an aim to provide a safe and educational environment for GLBTi children, youth and young adults aged 12+.  Last week one of its board members resigned due to New Zealand’s first “sexting” scandal, one has a police complaint against him due to alleged drugs supply/taking and dishonesty offences, one publicly admitted in front of witnesses that there is nothing wrong with drug offenses, he does them too, all overseen by a Pastor that works in the Mental Health arena that has been trying to bury these complaints for months.

As you might expect, this won’t be the end of it.

Tick Tock Neil.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.