This is a thank you letter from Ron Cooke issued on behalf of KCET, a Charitable Trust that I helped him to establish a few years ago. I give a brief background to the establishment of KCET and extract lessons from not only the thank you letter but the events of the last few years. Enjoy.
Apparently last year at a KCET Board meeting Ron suggested that they should thank me for my contribution towards the cause. He hand delivered this thank you to me earlier. You don’t get many thanks in this job and it is appropriate and appreciated. He made mention that he expected a blog post about it. Sure thing Ron, here it is.
I blogged about all the BS last year when I resigned my role as CEO and trustee of KCET due to the charge I had to face in a criminal court – Obtaining by Deception. Of course I was acquitted of this charge by a District Court Judge in Hamilton on 9 December 2021, which means that I am totally clear of any crime. An acquittal under s147 of the Crimes Act is essentially a “not guilty” finding by a judge prior to a trial, as opposed to a “not guilty” finding by a judge or jury after a trial. Smart judge eh?
While I am sure that many in the public would have permitted me to carry on the role pending a resolution, it would have only taken one idiot to start up more stupid gossip, so I felt it best to actually resign prior to the charge being laid, which I did. In due course I will be exposing the corruption and the crooked cops and legal team but for the moment let me assure you that the matter is FAR from over.
My appeal of the acquittal is heading to the Court of Appeal next week and IMHO you don’t lay criminal charges against any straight dude like me with the matter already before the Civil courts unless you are acting in bad faith! Listen up people, acting in bad faith against me is not wise as I am a proud man and I get REALLY indignant on matters of principle and when you cause me and others loss, you will surely end up paying, one way or the other. Furthermore there is ample evidence of a loving God looking after His own.
So the events that led up to the creation of the Charitable Trust and that Ron talks about here are summarised elsewhere in three books about these fools, (OFF the Rails, And They Said, and Breach of Trust), but in a nutshell, I returned to the King Country in 2018, found him in a real mess, having just been booted out of The Memory Bank by the very trustees of the trust that he had set up 30 years prior for the purpose of housing his collection of King Country newspapers, negatives, resources & photos.
Representing more than a lifetime of work, from himself, other photographers and newspaper people going back several generations, Ron’s eviction was essentially a conspiracy, conceptualised by the husband of another local historian, activated by a bunch of incompetents led by an ex-mayor with Autism. The deal was to sell up The Memory Bank and donate the proceeds to the Council-led Museum project. The $50k raised from selling a $100k building and booting the old man out on the street with his collection was then used as seed capital in a dodgy Lotto application. The RDC retracted a few things, patched it all up and carried on but I really pissed a few people off at the time telling the world what was really what and who was really who!
Seeing my mate suffering, I simply took on the crooks, crims & crazies head-on – politely but firmly as per my usual way. Weston Kirton said that KCET (the Charitable Trust that then owned the collection) wouldn’t be getting a cent then baited Cookie to sue him, by saying to be specific “Bring it on!”, and Karen Ngatai, now Deputy Mayor, said, “We don’t want to kick you out on the street”, (but they did) and then tried to tell us all that the community did not establish, support and fund The Museum Trust for the purposes of housing Cookie’s collection!
OMG what a
Ron’s letter of thanks above puts it politely when he says of our relationship that it “had to survive without community involvement”. This needs a little clarification. This is a gross understatement because KCET was born in a sea of politics and its very existence threatened the then crooked leaders of the community head-on. Hatred, particularly from Weston Kirton and Karen Ngatai but also the other TMT trustees, many of the TDHS members and even people within the RDC was wild – overt, subtle and insidious!
Cookie’s troubles going way back (and I mean decades here) related to what Weston Kirton has called “his intransigence”. Peter Till also says of him that he is known for changing his mind and reneging on deals. These criticisms are true to a point but need deep qualification, the nuances best exposed in a court setting.
Cookie is not immune from criticism in his conduct over the last few decades. He is overly trusting to the point of gullibility and can be a pain in the proverbial to deal with, especially if you have your own agenda but the conspiracy that has ripped the community apart is a well-proven and admitted fact.
My read of reality is that Cookie has a high expectation of the King Country community. It is his belief that when you enter into an agreement that you honour that agreement. He says that he didn’t get reciprocal commitment. He gave his life’s work to the community, his heart and soul, but they never reciprocated, or if they did then they only did it partly or half-heartedly.
I think he’s 100% right in that regard with the TMT trustees showing me all the signs of dysfunction as a team and dishonest, self interest and butt-protection individually. I’m certain that this will all come out in evidence in court eventually.
The Thank You Letter
In order to receive formal thanks like this, somebody has to stand in a meeting and plead a cause. He or she has to convince others that this is an appropriate action. Somebody did this, so thanks for those thanks.
Let’s go through it, as I believe that this is what was expected of me.
- Nisi. The letter is addressed to “Nisi” deliberately. Only my friends call me Nisi. Ron has specifically gone out of his way to connect here at a personal level in a formal document. Good move.
- Leadership & Expertise. KCET was established for a specific purpose. It purchased Ron’s ‘stuff’ whatever that was and it is fair to say that I brought my experience to bear on a very, very difficult situation. This was indeed a demonstration of strong leadership and yes, expertise. Moving into a crisis situation and pulling people along and up with you is not for the faint hearted I can tell you!
- Chariots pulled by white horses is a nice phrase. In fact my contributions came out of the blue for Ron but they were ordained and had been obviously planned by a higher Power.
- Caring. Ron is correct when he notes this aspect of my work, I do care. It is REALLY hard to get this message out when you are dealing with crooks, crims & crazies, sometimes at the highest levels of power. It is a constant battle against crooked people with power and a petty mindset – protecting their own patch or egos or power is all too common. Newspaper men, Politicians, businessmen or those in authority like the Police usually all do NOT care. They use other peoples’ money and are given power that, sadly, they often abuse. Ron is perceptive when the says that I, “cared enough to stop, listen and take action”.
- Against the Odds. I’ve already shared about the social cost of standing up for the little guy, but here Ron talks of “leadership, commitment and energy” as being three reasons why KCET is still here today. This is a good letter.
- Faith etc. Ron concludes with notes on other appropriate management skills and my sharing of a Christian faith. If Ron thinks I will be hearing those magical words that I seek to hear, “Well done . . . ” then I concur. This is not a good letter, it is a great letter.
Preachers across the globe lose the respect of their audiences mainly because they put themselves above others. This pisses most off (including me) and it is the reason why the people loved Jesus because He never did that. He walked around day after day helping people. He healed, taught, preached and they strung Him up for it. He knew His stuff though. He knew who He was, but more importantly He knew His Father and He simply did what His Father wanted of Him.
My advice is to make sure that you too do the same … Thanks or no thanks.