Ratbag Rhys Coffin talks the big game, but his staff are owed thousands in unpaid wages

RATBAG: Rhys Coffin

RATBAG: Rhys Coffin

There’s a guy in Pukekohe, south of Auckland, who touts himself as an internet entrepreneur and says he is trying to build a nationwide digital community news network.

While the concept he promotes of “community-good” seems a positive one, the man himself is rapidly building a reputation as a “shady” operator.

At least four people employed by Rhys Coffin’s company We Love Media Group are owed money – in one case almost $6000 in unpaid salary.

Rhys Benton Coffin promotes himself on Linkedin.com as “working on exciting projects in news media, Māori Business Development and internet marketing”.

But questions are being raised by former staff, some employed only recently, who believe Coffin is, at best, shady, and at worst, a liar.

One has been waiting patiently since the end of July for “regularly promised” payment of almost $6000 after being appointed editor of We Love Manukau and We Love Papakura.

He was also promised a shareholding in We Love Manukau when the company was formed.

Two others, more recently employed as salespeople, have already severed contact with Coffin after receiving not a red cent.

This despite Coffin touting a major restructure of the group that saw three investors come aboard.

In fact, those investors saw the possibilities and purchased one arm of the business – We Love Pukekohe and are running it well, especially as Coffin has been relegated to a minor role in that company.

It was never their intention to bail out Coffin and We Love Media Group, rather to take over a business and run it properly.  

One former We Love Media Group employee, who does not wish to be named, relates a familiar tale of promises made but never fulfilled.

“Coffin phoned me on the evening of October 3. He was in his car and was very excited.

“During that call he told me a major investor had signed on, that I could expect $1000 overnight the following Monday and the outstanding balance within 10 days.

“I finally received $500 On October 16 and nothing since; just the occasional email (one on November 11) saying he was expecting “personal funds any day. Hopefully overnight”.

“He has a history of promising to pay … then nothing.

“How do people like Coffin get away with it? Ripping people off and then just going on their merry way?”

Coffin is the sole director of We Love Media Group and holds 80% of the shares.

We Love Manukau was never formed as a company.

There are a string of struck off companies (13) listed with him as a shareholder, and a further 21 companies listed with him as a Director (most are struck off) far too many for it to be a coincidence or simply bad luck.

If you have had dealings with, or been ripped off by Coffin, let us know via the tip line.

The sooner people like this are outed and stopped from ripping people off, the better.

Coffin should never be allowed to run a company, be responsible for money, and certainly not employ staff.

Not paying staff their wages is real ratbag behaviour, closer scrutiny of Coffin’s behaviour is warranted.

Calls to Coffin repeatedly went to voicemail and he failed to return messages before this story went live.


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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.

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