Banks supporting Unite Union – or do they?

Matt Mccarten’s Unite Union has finally filed their overdue accounts with the registrar…except they haven’t. I have engaged the Owl for a once over lightly so as to not impinge on his holiday with the kids.

There are serious questions as to whether or not Unite union should actually be a union given their poor adherence to the law. Their repeated failure to meet statutory requirements should preclude them from acting as a union. If I was McDonalds or Burger King or SkyCity I’d be applying to have them struck off the register.

Observation by the Owl

Unite Union has filed their 2011 and 2012 Accounts – seriously late and after some enormous pressure by all involved.

There is a loss which is then matched by a surplus. The Union is insolvent and should be closed down except there is a major issue with the accounts. They are not audited therefore there is zero qualification of its viability as a going concern.

There is a note to the accounts which says that the overdraft is secured by a private residency. (Note 4).

UNITE-security Read more »

Update on Union Financial Returns – Observation by the Owl

Well MUNZ seem to be still on summer holiday as they have only filed their revised accounts up to 2009. I could appreciate a small delay on not filing the 2010 and 2011 updated accounts but he only problem is that they have missed the deadline on filing their 2012 accounts.

The Incorporated Societies Registrar has received the full financial accounts from EPMU but have yet to upload on the website.? Read more »

Govt vs Household for NZ

Earlier I posted a meme regarding bringing government accounts down to the level of the household budget so people can understand.

A reader has emailed:

All sourced from the Treasury Website.

I couldn?t get a true estimate of what the Government?s net assets were ? the SOEs are valued at $29 Billion (Down $3 billion due to rail in the last 12 months) and there is $50 billion in assets held by Crown Entities (Think this will be mostly Hospitals, Schools and State Houses) and $29 Billion owned by Core Crown. While some of this would be prime commercial property in various cities, most would be impossible to sell like Highways, National Parks and historical locations, Parliament and Waitangi. While nowhere as dire as the US, we?re probably close to debt being 100% of government assets.

Either way, it?s not looking bright for the next few years until we are back in surplus and from there only disciplined governments will keep us afloat.

So, here is the New Zealand version:

Government Household
Tax Revenues ?$65,383,988,000
Non-Tax Revenues ?$7,070,077,000
Capital Receipts ?$1,828,959,000
Total Income: ?$74,283,024,000 Net Income $74,283
Expenditure ?$81,664,760,000 Net Expenditure $81,665
Increase (Decrease on FY2012) ?$2,165,626,000
Net Deficit: -$7,381,736,000 Added to Credit Card $7,382
Total Gross Crown Debt: ?$79,635,000,000 Total Credit card debt $79,635
Total Net Crown Debt: ?$50,671,000,000 Debt less cash assets $50,671

Another dodgy union caught owing IRD

The Maritime Union is having to update their accounting records with the Societies Commission. It isn’t pretty reading

The 2005 Accounts shows a previously undisclosed provision for settlement with the IRD of $340,000.00


Why is a settlement required?

What was it for?

What event happened in as $340,000.00 is a very substantial amount?

More to follow?.

Remember First Union hit with a $250,000.00 IRD audit bill as well.

Meatworkers Union – Failure to Disclose

For Meat Workers Union Members only: presented by the Owl

Dear Meat Workers Union Members:

A number of people have been working very hard on your behalf to ensure you receive the best?information available from your unions. We have received major criticism for our persistence in these?matters but we are now able to provide you with your correct financial information.

We are not looking for a thank you or anything ? we just want you to have the best. For the Owl I?believe in process and a great advocate for members. Just like you pay money into kiwi saver there?is governing laws around protecting your investment. Unions are incorporated societies and your?investment needs to be protected as well. Failure to disclose is a serious matter.

The Owl has tabled a comparison of what was originally filed by your Union in 2011 and what the actual?true figures were.

Please note that your Union auditors have stated that in their report ?Also we have not been able to?obtain sufficient audit evidence regarding revenues and expenses relating to Hawera Sub-Branch and?2010 comparatives of Otago Southland Branch?. These are not our words but your auditors.

The Owl does not dig around in rubbish bins for scandals and only uses information freely available in?the public domain. I suggest members write to their Union and seek clarification on any matters.

What is worse – A privacy breach or a failure to disclose?

2011 2011 2011
Expenses ?Orginally Filed ?The “Real” position ?Understated by:
ACC Levy ?999 ?4,177 ?3,178
Affiliations and Capitation ?93,236 ?93,236 ?-
Donations & Presentations ?24,416 ?45,796 ?21,380
Fringe Benefit Tax ?4,461 ?39,008 ?34,547
Health & Safety ?55,743 ?79,326 ?23,583
Legal ?56,161 ?350,632 ?294,471
Meetings and Conferences ?160,553 ?456,598 ?296,045
Honorariums & Commissions ?4,000 ?87,276 ?83,276
Salaries & Allowances ?170,031 ?1,203,188 ?1,033,157
Superannuation ?8,405 ?46,588 ?38,183
Travelling Car & Air ?34,593 ?233,698 ?199,105
Accountancy ?- ?41,234 ?41,234
Audit ?4,903 ?30,975 ?26,072
Depreciation ?6,173 ?119,347 ?113,174
Loss on Fixed Assets ?7,867 ?4,684 (3,183)
Office Expenses ?68,704 ?346,562 ?277,858
Total expenses ?686,205 ?3,182,325 ?2,482,080
Membership Subscription ?682,178 ?2,768,676 ?2,086,498
Interest Received ?29,928 ?166,392 ?136,464
Rental Income ?- ?39,580 ?39,580
Sundry Income ?- ?110,990 ?110,990
?712,106 ?3,085,638 ?2,373,532
Taxation ?8,230 ?49,705 ?41,475
Net Surplus (Loss) 17,671 (146,392) (128,721)

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.

Finally a balanced article on the AFFCO dispute


Jon Morgan doesn?t repeat Simon Oosterman’s bullshit press releases and stage managed protests, probably having read the Cecil Walker story and realising that Simon is very, very economical with the truth when talking to reporters.

Obviously not a left wing media hack Jon makes the following obvious point:

The protagonists, the Talley family on one side and the Meatworkers Union on the other, are an irresistible force coming up against an immovable object ? or, as one industry source puts it, “a rock hitting a rock”.

Both have fearsome reputations, but the union’s is on the wane while the Talleys’ is on the rise.

A pity this is not obvious to the Meatworkers Union. Their unwillingness to let AFFCO manage their plants and their staff is the cause of this dispute. It is an ideological battle from the 70s that was lost a long time ago.

It is not just the ideological battle lost, the union is losing membership flat out as workers realise AFFCO will pay them a fair days wage for a fair days work and increase their salary by 5%.

Comment of the Day

From a reader in Wanganui on the post A reality check for Helen Kelly and Simon Oosterman.

Inventory2 comments:

Quite so WO; I drove past Imlay in Wanganui an hour or so ago. The afternoon shift had just arrived and day-shift was leaving. As soon as the last car left most of the MWU picketers left too.

But looking over to the plant, the car park was well populated, suggesting that it’s very much business as usual at Imlay for all except the remaining MWU lockout crew. And tellingly, the car park was much more heavily populated than a week or so ago, whilst the crew on the picket line is thinning. It must suck to be locked out, but obviously large numbers have not waited for the MWU to sort things out.

Meatworkers Union forced to re-file accounts

As regular readers will know I?have?been?focusing?on dodgy unions and their?lackadaisical?financial records.

One union which I highlighted was the Meatworkers and Related Trades Union in which I found over $4 million of members funds missing.

As a result of my investigations one of the meat companies laid a complaint with the Serious Fraud Office who declined to investigate. Perhaps they should have not been so hasty in dismissing the complaint. Perhaps Helen Kelly might like to apologise to AFFCO after?labeling?their complaint as “hatred”.

I have learned yesterday that the?Meatworkers and Related Trades Union has been ordered by The Registrar of Incorporated Societies to comply with the law and has required the Union to re-do their latest financial statement to include the figures for the unincorporated branches.

This means that the union claims that it was all above board for them to not issue consolidated accounts and essentially hide members monies in subsidiaries was based on poor advice and they are now being required to properly file audited accounts.

This also means that the unincorporated?societies are essentially breaking the Employment?Relations?Act and operating as illegal unions.

Perhaps Helen Kelly might like to apologise to AFFCO after?labeling?their complaint as “hatred”. It turns out that their complaint certainly looks like it had a great deal of merit but for the lack of focus of the regulator, more intent on looking for corporate fraud rather than fraud against working people. All AFFCO wanted was for members money to be properly accounted for, something you would have thought Helen Kelly and the CTU would have wanted for workers.

Perhaps too the Accountants Society should re-think their ignoring of wilful?disobedience?of legal requirement for unions to file full and proper accounts.

I await the new accounts that properly record the financial activities of the?Meatworkers and Related Trades Union. Once they are filed we can then get a better picture on the true state of the union finances rather than the dodgy accounts filed thus far.

I believe it would be reasonable for the past few years to be likewise corrected so that a proper trace on funds can be completed.

Other unions are in a similar position, either with incomplete financial records as required by law, or with?improper consolidation. They would do well to comply with the law.

An Observation by the Owl

Union’s seem to have an awful lot of trouble with filing things properly. The Owl has noticed some more dodgy paperwork.

More tidy up work and losses for Unions

The following Unions have shares in the following privately listed company.


National Distribution Union Inc.
The New Zealand Amalgamated Engineering Printing & Manufacturing Union?Inc.
New Zealand Public Service Association Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi?Inc.
Central?Amalgamated?Workers Union Inc.
Meat and Related trades Workers Union of Aotearoa Inc.
The Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota Inc.

The Owl has no problems with Unions having shares in privately listed companies and this one in?particular was incorporated in 1963.

However the National Distribution no longer exists.

A number of Unions do not declare their shareholdings which brings me to three more?observations:

  1. The Central Amalgamated Workers Union Incorporated has not files their statutory?returns since 2009?why not? But in their 2009 account said they advanced money to?the above Company.
  2. The Service and Food Workers Union have reported $250k worth of losses and spent?$196k on ?building activists and building solidarity?.
  3. Finsec who combined with the National Distribution Union recorded nearly $800k of?losses up the amalgamation


  1. Shareholders names need to be corrected
  2. Central Union needs to file their accounts urgently
  3. Some of the above Unions need to declare their shareholding in their accounts where?applicable

Note: All information is sourced from the public domain.