This post gives the background to my taking KCET to court and includes a copy of the Statement of Claim, a detailed document that sets out all the relevant concerns and in my case (because I am not a lawyer) includes the basic relevant quotes. A Statement of Claim is an important document because it details your ‘pleading’ and what you are asking the judge to look at and decide. Enjoy!
That I would appear to ‘turn’ on my mate may surprise some people but this is one of the hardest things I have had to do in a long time. I think back to my first divorce, getting dumped and booted out of an Albany sex-commune because I didn’t want to ‘participate’ (if you get my drift) wasn’t an easy thing to cope with – especially in my early 20s but you get over it, sort of. A few decades later it’s just as hard when a guy you care about rips you off, and you try as hard as you can to warn him, teach him and help him . . . sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!
The best way to explain this sadness is to work through the Statement of Claim that I will be submitting to the Taumarunui District Court next week [Update: Already done]. The essence of our dispute is that I paid for a lot of things for the trust, I set it up, conceptualised it, drove it and pretty much funded it all to help out the aging local historian Ron Cooke. Then when I asked to get paid – anything – it was, sorry mate, you gotta take this (which is all we can scratch together) or f* off!
Through a bunch of what ended up to be some pretty bad decisions (by himself and others) Cookie had found himself booted out of the Memory Bank, going bust and he was, to put it into the vernacular, in deep
shit poo! Aging, with financial, personal and marital stress through the roof, I did the needful, got him and his Collection safe and then found myself a few years later facing criminal charges. Dishonesty, to be precise, so I resigned then watched as the trust made more ‘dumb’ decisions and I’d had enough. Unfortunately while I used my own money to get him out of the poo in the first place, it was someone else’s that I used to repay me, so I really had no option. So “Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It’s off to court we go!” again!
I’ll pop in a few tips at the end of this post for those in similar positions but here goes with this SOC:
IN THE DISTRICT COURT
UNDER THE Charities Services Act 2005, Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017; & Insolvency Act 2006
IN THE MATTER OF: Breach of Contract; Insolvency & False Filing
KCET is a Charitable Trust and a CT is required to advice Charities Services of its financial position on time and accurately. It didn’t. It entered into multiple agreements with me and broke them thus the Contracts Act applies. It is insolvent yet continues to ‘trade’. That’s wrong!
BETWEEN: DENNIS ARTHUR SMITH, Beneficiary, of
AND: KING COUNTRY EDUCATION TRUST, a registered
Charitable Trust, (CC57408)
AND: RONALD LESLIE COOKE, Trustee of the First
Defendant, 6 Nelvin Place, Manunui, Taumarunui
AND: BEVAN STUART COOKE, Trustee of the First
Defendant, 14 Greensboro St, Hamilton East
AND: GARY PAUL FITZPATRICK, Trustee of the
First Defendant, 11 Peter Terrace, Castor Bay,
I am suing both the Charitable Trust and the trustees personally. More on this in a moment.
The Plaintiff [That’s me] claims:
1. The First Defendant is a registered Charitable Trust (CC57408) established on 12 December 2018.
2. The Plaintiff was a founding trustee, Chairman and CEO of the First Defendant from its inception until 22 July 2021.
3. The Second Defendant is a founding trustee of the First Defendant and a historian specialising in the collection and storage of historical data, including images from the King Country region (the “Collection”).
4. The Third Defendant is a trustee of the First Defendant commencing on 16 September 2021.
5. The Fourth Defendant is a trustee of the First Defendant commencing on 28 January 2020.
6. The Plaintiff’s companies Writing the Wrong Ltd and Wairua (NZ) Ltd assigned their debts to the Plaintiff on 5 March 2022.
This fact is important and it is something that I recommend that all companies do in a contested situation and it must be done legally, be documented and it affects both the courts and IRD. The easiest way to do this is to get a lawyer to do a formal assignment of the debt, then to credit off the invoice from the company and email either one or the other or both to somebody else trustworthy. The reason is that a judge and the IRD will be testing you to see if what you have done is legitimate or whether it is a paper transaction. There are plusses and minuses in doing this. The plus is that a company must be represented in the High Court by a lawyer, whereas an individual doesn’t. The minus is that any monies received is taxable income, whereas it can be sales income in a company if not assigned.
7. At all material times the Third Defendant knew of and approved of the Second Defendant’s affairs relating to the First Defendant.
Ron’s son Bevan knew at all times what was happening and advised his Dad. This statement is important because it records the fact that Bevan was not just a fly on the wall. He was actively involved in making the decisions.
8. At all material times the Fourth Defendant knew of and approved of the First Defendant’s affairs.
A professional trustee has an important role to play in the running of a trust, particularly since the new Act came into force. In KCET, Gary was intimately acquainted with the CT’s affairs (at least while I was there). That he knew of the nonsense and approved of it stuns me as a professional trustee really should know better but hey, like with all of these people, I can’t run their lives for them!
TMB EVICTION & KCET ESTABLISHMENT
9. In Q3, 2018, the Second Defendant was evicted from The Memory Bank (“TMB”) by the Taumarunui Museum Trust (“TMT”).
10. TMB was a building that the TMT had fund-raised for and which the Second Defendant had occupied for some 30 years.
11. In December 2018, the Plaintiff assisted the Second Defendant to establish the First Defendant.
I think this simplified statement is an important fact, in that I could really go to town here and lather it up. It would though achieve nothing in this case because this is simply a backgrounder to the four key issues of my concern about to come up.
12. In 2018 and 2019 the Plaintiff as trustee of the First Defendant sought legal advice on the legalities of the Second Defendant’s eviction from TMB.
13. The Plaintiff and the Second Defendant agreed as trustees of the First Defendant to commence litigation against both the TMT and its trustees personally based upon legal advice that the trustees of the TMT had Breached Trust.
Now I have to be honest here and admit that while this is inserted here for more than one reason, one of these reasons is a bit of self-justification. I understand that the talk around town is that I am full of it and cannot or do not or will not sue. They think that I’m full of bluff. The reality is otherwise. I have actually received consistent legal advice from three independent lawyers who all say the same thing, “Yes, Dennis! This is a prime facie case of Breach of Trust!”
We, that is KCET made the decision to sue TMT based on these three opinions. KCET has years to bring its claims against TMT under the statute of limitations and while they changed their trust deed to try to escape their personal involvement, they did this after they had made the illegal decision. There is no hurry to sue, KCET can still do this if it wants to.
Likewise with my patience regarding Karen Ngatai. I sued her for defamation within weeks of getting the evidence. Remember that those who run off to court at the drop of a hat can often end up losing more than those that hold back and pick their fights!
14. The Plaintiff and the Second Defendant worked together to produce three books covering the history of this eviction and surrounding events, “Off the Rails”, “And They Said” and “Breach of Trust”.
15. From early December 2018 to the point of a relationship breakdown between the Plaintiff and the Second Defendant in Q1 2022, the Plaintiff worked together closely with the Second Defendant to ensure security of the Collection.
16. This relationship breakdown was precipitated by the Plaintiff’s termination of the Second Defendant’s employment by Abundant Past Ltd in October 2020.
17. Tension between the Plaintiff and the Second Defendant increased with the Plaintiff’s resignation as Chairman, CEO and Trustee of the First Defendant on 22 July 2021.
It would be nice if we all got on but this is the real world and conflict does occur.
Personally I think that Cookie is well past it – a guy who tries to please everyone and ends up pissing everybody off. I think his maternal upbringing has a lot to answer for in this regard but a judge has to apply the law to the facts and then rule. Period. If someone agrees to do something and doesn’t then they should have to pay.
What follows are four “Causes of Action”. A Cause of Action is a beef. It is a distinct issue that must stand on its own and be tested and proven one way or another. In a criminal case it is called a “charge” – you face one charge. If there are more charges then (assuming it is not ‘representative) each charge needs to be assessed on its own merits – likewise here. The court should look at each Cause here and see what the evidence says. Sure, the credibility of a party or witness may influence things but if there is no evidence presented then there should be no payout. We say that the onus of proof is on the Plaintiff – the one bringing the claim. It is therefore my job to prove each of these claims in court.
Now is not the time to argue the matter, I just need to make each one clear so that the Defendant(s) have a reasonable opportunity to defend themselves one claim by one claim.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION – Breach of Contract, Failure to Reimburse as Promised
18. On 14 May 2019 the Plaintiff and the Second Defendant agreed for the First Plaintiff to purchase containers for the housing/storage of the Collection.
19. The Plaintiff and the Second Defendant agreed that funding for the Collection’s housing needs was to be from private funding from a particular long-term supporter (“SG”).
20. The Second Defendant assured the Plaintiff that SG “was a millionaire” and that SG “was good for it”.
And this is the point at which I believe that any reasonable person would have considered that liability began. If SG coughed up then all would be good. If SG didn’t (and he didn’t) then all eyes would turn to Cookie. “Well? Now what?” would be the natural thoughts.
- The Plaintiff came to believe that the First Defendant would be able to and would repay him in full when the promised funds arrived as a direct result of the Second Defendant’s assurances that SG was “of means” and would be “good for it”.
And there is the natural consequences of Cookies glowing endorsement – trust. Was it a personal guarantee? No! What happens next though is vital and I’ll give my advice later.
21. On the basis that he believed that the First Defendant would have the means to repay him the Plaintiff therefore invested $48,000.00:
1. Purchasing three containers;
2. ‘Kitting the containers out’; and
3. Moving the Collection and the First Defendant to Matapuna.
22. The First Defendant did not receive the promised $48,000.00, as SG defaulted.
I’d just like to butt in here and let any naysayers know that this is materials and various things all charged at my cost – not a brass razoo for my time or labour. It was supposed to be and was quoted at only $45k but it actually came to more than $48k, but I only told them and charged them this.
23. At the First Defendant’s Board Meeting on 22 May 2020 the Plaintiff declared a potential conflict of interest and recused himself from financial reimbursement discussions.
There’s a couple of things to note here: a) I recused myself as the discussions as the CT was dealing with matters relating to myself and b) I physically went away so that not only was I seen to be doing the right thing I actually did the right thing. These are sometimes different things but they are especially important when you are in a position of trust and are not liked by many in the community.
24. As trustees of the First Defendant, the Second and Fourth Defendants resolved that the First Defendant would accept liability for the reimbursement to the Plaintiff for his investment into the three containers and fitout.
25. The First Defendant’s minutes summarise this agreement as:
“AGREED: KCET shall accept liability in principle for DAS’ expenses in purchasing and kitting out the three 40′ HC Containers.”
Again this raises a couple of issues a) It was clearly recorded in the minutes and b) the other guys decided that KCET should reimburse me. This is a crucial point that makes this matter so clean. This really could have easily gotten messy if I had been involved in that decision in any way.
26. On 3 February 2022 the Plaintiff invoiced the First Defendant (Invoice 1121) for $48,000.00.
27. On 4 February 2022 the Plaintiff wrote to the Second Defendant detailing the full situation but the matters remained unresolved.
28. On 9 February 2022, the Plaintiff served a Statutory Demand on the First, Third & Fourth Defendants by email for $48,092.00.
28. On or about 17:00 hours on 10 February 2022, the Plaintiff served the Second Defendant in person a Statutory Demand for $48,092.00.
A Statutory Demand is normally used in relation to a company, where s289 of the Companies Act requires this as a compulsory step in debt collection matters. I could have just run to court without taking this step but sending KCET this document makes it clear that I was serious and to my way of thinking is an act of fairness.
29. On or about 12 February 2022, the Plaintiff agreed with the Second Defendant that the First Defendant could return any ‘unwanted’ containers to him as long as there would be no financial disadvantage to him.
30. On 15 February 2022, the Second Defendant wrote to the Plaintiff on behalf of “the trustees” disputing the Statutory Demand but gave no reason for (nor any details of) the claimed dispute.
31. Between 16 February 2022 and 23 February 2022 the Second and Third Defendant and a third party assisting the First Defendant variously admitted to the Plaintiff that their denial of the debt the Plaintiff claimed was fallacious and was only issued because they “did not have any money”.
IMHO this was a ‘bad move’ on the part of KCET in more than one way. First the letter assured me that all parties participated in the decision .This was not just some old man who had lost his marbles. Secondly it was a formal written response so it transcended any discussion. Thirdly it detailed KCET’s concerns that related to ALL accounts and specifically, lastly it took the matters into the realm of a dispute. Turning a demand into, initiating or escalating it into a dispute? WTF did they think they were doing playing games like this – and Cookie of all people to do this, too?
Up until then it was simply a matter or collection of a debt. I’ll get into this later but you should NEVER allow a matter to escalate if you are at fault – only enter into a conflict if you are VERY sure of your position and are prepared to fight for your position. IMHO, admitting that you really are messing with the courts even before you get there is just nuts.
32. Between 27 March 2022 and 31 March 2022 the Second Defendant arranged for, and supervised the removal of the First Defendant’s property (including the Collection) from the Plaintiff’s property.
I have no problem in the slightest with this action. These guys wanted to get their stuff out and that’s perfectly OK, which is why I watched them come in and do what they did for these days. Again this is an important factor that should never be lost on the reader – I could have stopped them but didn’t.
33. During this process, the Second Defendant abandoned some of the housing provided to it and either removed or instructed the removal of desks, electrical, shelving – all components of Invoice 1121.
I had no contribution to this decision-making. Cookie came to me after he had vacated and advised me that he left some things and had taken others. That was his decision – not mine.
34. The First Defendant has failed to make payment to the Plaintiff nor to enter into any payment arrangement agreeable to the Plaintiff.
35. The First Defendant is currently operating in an insolvent state.
Insolvency is one thing. Trading while insolvent is another. Claiming that you don’t owe anything when we all know that you don’t have the means to pay is just not good conduct.
WHEREFORE the Plaintiff seeks:
A) JUDGMENT against the First, Second, Third and Fourth Defendants jointly and severa[l]ly in the amount of $48,092.00; and
I’m asking the court here to settle this ‘dispute’. It would be wrong for me to ask for a judgment by default when the other party thinks they have a dispute. Sure we all know that there is no ‘real’ dispute but I try to do the honourable thing.
The term “jointly and severally” means that they all owe this money individually (severally) as well as a group (jointly) as opposed to proportionately, where or example the trust gets told to pay something and the various trustees a different amount. The letter KCET sent me makes it clear that all the trustees participated in the decision to argue the toss so therefore all parties can be sued here.
The point here is that Clause 14 of KCET’s trust deed provides for the protection of the trustees individually if they are operating in their capacity as trustees of the trust. This is only reasonable, after all they will often do their best, often in a charitable sense, thus should be protected by law. The exception though (provided for in the trust deed) is when they step outside of the realm of good faith conduct into the area of breach of trust. I reckon that by agreeing to underwrite an account then doing what they they have, reneging on their deal, that this activates the exception.
If the court agrees, then their potential defence of being a trustee will fail.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION – Act of Insolvency – Unpaid Rent
36. The Plaintiff provided rent to the First Defendant at no charge from mid 2019 to 31 March 2020.
I’m a nice guy aren’t I? This is just a fact, entered in here for completeness. It just lets the court know the facts of what actually happened during that time, so that they don’t need to ask.
37. At a First Defendant’s Board Meeting the Second and Fourth Defendants agreed as trustees of the First Defendant to incur liability for rent, water and power from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 at the rate of $200.00 per week.
38. The basis for this agreement was that:
1. The rent would be paid when the trust had the funds available; and
2. The monies owing would not incur interest charges.
What I’ve done here is to detail the resolution (which was the agreement) and the reasons why that decision was made. While not strictly necessary, this helps all parties understand things.
39. At a subsequent [digital/remote] Board Meeting on 2 April 2021 the Plaintiff discussed the rent billed and noted that the First Plaintiff was not using much power nor internet.
40. The Plaintiff then offered to reduce the billing from $200.00 per week to $150.00 pw and to do this retrospectively.
41. The Second and Fourth Defendants as trustees of the First Defendent agreed to this change and the Plaintiff adjusted his companies billing accordingly reducing the First Defendant’s account to $15,600.00.
I initiated this change to the amount to be paid because Cookie had relocated his business to his home and hardly used the housing I provided. As always though, such changes were discussed, agreed and documented. He wrote KCET off mentally as all in the too hard basket, but didn’t talk about his intent, instead just stringing everyone else along through indecision.
42. On 9 February 2022, Wairua (NZ) Ltd served a Statutory Demand on the First, Third & Fourth Defendants by email for $15,692.00.
43. On or about 17:00 hours on 10 February 2022, Wairua (NZ) Ltd served the Second Defendant in person a Statutory Demand for $15,692.00.
44. On 15 February 2022, the First Defendant wrote to the Plaintiff disputing the Statutory Demand but gave no reason for (nor any details of) the claimed dispute.
45. The First Defendant has failed to make payment to the Plaintiff nor to enter into any payment arrangement agreeable to the Plaintiff.
46. The First Defendant is currently operating in an insolvent state.
A resolution by a Charitable Trust Board is an agreement and holds enormous weight in later court deliberations. IMHO that contemporaneous documents support this (a credit note, invoicing and emails) make this account not reasonably disputable.
WHEREFORE the Plaintiff claims:
C) JUDGMENT against the First, Second, Third and Fourth Defendants jointly and severably in the amount of $14,692.00; and
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION – Breach of Contract – Book “And They Said …”
47. During 2019, the Plaintiff undertook 533 hours of billable work researching, writing, publishing and printing two books, “And They Said …” (ISBN: 9780473500948) and “Breach of Trust” (ISBN: 9780473539108).
48. The Plaintiff and the Second Defendants as trustees of the First Defendant, agreed to reimburse the Plaintiff for this work “from the litigation payout”.
49. This agreement:
1. Assumed that litigation would proceed;
2. Limited liability to the First Defendent to the lesser of any awarded a payout or the value of the Plaintiff’s invoice; and
3. Implied that if the First Defendant lost the litigation against TMT, there would be no payout.
50. On 24 October 2019 the Plaintiff’s company Writing the Wrong Ltd invoiced the First Defendant $27,582.75, Invoice 1026.
For those agin me, may I respectfully suggest that this account and the circumstances surrounding it is hugely generous. First, it has a 50% discount. Secondly it was condition upon KCET’s successful litigation against TMT.
51. On 9 February 2022, Writing the Wrong Ltd served a Statutory Demand on the First, Third & Fourth Defendants by email for $27,674.75.
52. On or about 17:00 hours on 10 February 2022, Writing the Wrong Ltd served the Second Defendant in person a Statutory Demand for $27,674.75.
53. On 16 February 2022, the Second Defendant delivered to the Plaintiff a document denying the debt, but without giving any reason or further details.
54. The First Defendant failed to initiate litigation against the TMT.
55. On 23 February 2022 the Second Defendant confirmed to the Plaintiff in person that the First Defendant would now never commence litigation against the TMT, saying, “because I have to live in this town”.
I think this is the key phrase that cracks this matter open for all to see . . . Cookie doesn’t want to hurt anybody ‘out there’ so has oscillated between “Let’s sue the bastards” and “Can’t we just sit down and talk about it?”
While this is his problem, mine is that he has made some mistakes and tries to pass the responsibility to others. In psychology we call this transference where we take feelings from one situation and put them onto another. Transferring like this gives us a massive challenge to face reality.
It really doesn’t matter what Cookie wants, the point is that he made an agreement and cannot or will not honour it.
Talk around town is that Cookie is known for his “intransigence” and capacity to “reneg on [or change] a deal”. This may be true but it actually comes from an elevated sense of entitlement that is born out of pride. Cookie believes that if he is prepared to give or do something for the community then it should be their responsibility to contribute. They haven’t and didn’t. Cookie must accept that the world has moved on – he hasn’t.
This causes him to think, “If SG doesn’t come up with the goods, for example, then too bad – somebody else should have to pay for it”. Likewise with the TMT litigation, he obviously believes that it’s his right to sue or not. The fact that others are inconvenienced as a result of his indecisiveness or his changed approach is not his care.
My take though is that if you agree to doing something and you change the deal to deny somebody else what is rightfully theirs then you have to pay them. With his elevated sense of entitlement, you’ll never be able to explain this to him, thus I have to use a court to sort it all out.
I noted this a few years ago when Cookie laughed at my predicament finding out that SG defaulted on his promise. “Now you can see what I’ve been facing all these years!” may be quite true but it shows his mindset – an elevated sense of entitlement whereby he expects the community to pay for his hobby, because in his eyes it will benefit the community. He’s not prepared to “put any more into it” thus if I invest on the basis of his words or endorsement then it is not his concern. “So sad! Too bad!” sort of thing.
56. The First Defendant has failed to make payment or to enter into any payment arrangement agreeable to the Plaintiff.
57. The First Defendant’s change to its previous decision to litigate now prevents the Plaintiff from receiving income due to him as previously agreed.
58. The First Defendant is currently operating in an insolvent state.
WHEREFORE the Plaintiff claims:
E) JUDGMENT against the First, Second, Third and Fourth Defendants jointly and severably in the amount of $27,674.75; and
FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION – False Charities Services Filing
59. During 2021 the Plaintiff advised the First Defendant to record in the First Defendant’s accounts uninvoiced debts owing to the Plaintiff of $48,000.00 as “a contingent liability” alongside of his companies previously invoiced debts.
Now we get into the ‘naughty, naughty” department and I’ll try to explain what has happened as well as give you my take on how and why it has. When an invoice is issued it records a transaction. An agreement to pay something however is not an invoice. This agreement to pay is recorded in a set of accounts (well it should be) as a “contingent liability”. The liability is noted, but it is contingent upon receiving an invoice.
60. On or before 21 January 2022, the Second, Third and Fourth Defendants agreed to report false financial information of the First Defendant to Charities Services based on accounting advice that “if there is no invoice – there is no debt”.
In KCET’s case Cookie has sought advice that, “if there is no invoice – there is no debt”. This is not correct as I’ve just explained. A liability is incurred when the goods are ordered and/or supplied or when an agreement was entered into. Receiving an invoice is simply receiving a record of that transaction. Think also about the old school way of getting an invoice with snail-mail delays or perhaps getting an invoice with goods that may be on a ship somewhere.
The correct way of recording a debt where we are still waiting for a piece of paper or an invoice is by noting that the liability or asset is “contingent”. This can apply to pledges too. I note here that the taxable status of a transaction is impacted by this status too, and one should be investigating the tax implications too.
61. On or about 21 January 2022, the Second Defendant instructed a third party to update the Charities Services website stating that the First Defendant did not owe anyone anything, despite having received invoices, and agreeing to honour debts.
And this is where the real error occurred. Cookie (and all the others BTW) had most definitely received the invoices and they agreed to honouring the debts thus there should be a record of them at Charities Services. There isn’t and in the context of me asking for payment, this is a BIG problem – most likely a deliberate misrepresentation.
62. The Second Defendant either updated or permitted his name to be used in the updating of the First Defendant’s financial records at Charities Services, for the reports AR001 and AR002.
63. In 2022, the Plaintiff more than once sought resolution to this false reporting of the First Defendant’s financial position from the First Defendant.
64. The First Defendant has failed to remedy this false-reporting.
65. The First Defendant has caused the Plaintiff embarrassment and potential financial loss.
WHEREFORE the Plaintiff claims:
G) DAMAGES from the First, Second, Third and Fourth Defendants of $5,000.00 jointly and severally; and
This is really only a token request compared to the true costs of being seen around town as a dishonest operator, BS artist, greedy or whatever they choose to paint me as.
Date: 16 June 2022
Signature of Dennis Arthur Smith
There are a lot of lessons we can or should take away from this court case, regardless of the outcome. In due course a judge will no doubt apply the law to the facts as they determine them to be. I may be found to have proved my claims and KCET and its trustees will become liable for something. On the other hand my evidence could be rejected or the other guys’ lawyer ends up being smarter than me.
The first thing is to try to understand that some of us live by principle and others live by pragmatics. I err on the side of standing up for truth and am a black and white guy. My word is my bond. I put my money where my mouth is and if it is an old man who I care about who rips me off, then so be it. People who use situational ethics aiming to please everyone, in the end please no-one.
Secondly, when you are in the shit and owe somebody something, or if you’ve screwed up, front up – and do it as early as you can.
Thirdly, and I’ve touched on this above, don’t let things escalate unless you are planning it and are very sure of your position. Defamation, debt collecting or any dispute – play it straight and try hard to avoid it getting out of hand. While I do not actually enjoy conflict, over the years I have learned to use conflict constructively, but not everybody is a blogger teaching others about ethics. De-escalate if you can, and be very sure of your position, strategically, morally and legally if you can’t.
Fourthly, never give up. If somebody owes you something – no matter who it is, ensure that you stand up for something because the opposite is what KCET has done here – stood against me, made a real meal of it and unless some millionaire steps up to the mark at the 11th hour, they will be wound up – liquidated like they should be. Some people are leaders – they make decisions and live by the consequences. Others though can’t or don’t do this and find themselves in court.
I’ve helped many businesses over the years and I can tell you without exception that everybody can get themselves in the poo from time to time. We all know this – business goes up and it can go down. IMHO the only people that are real ‘Dicks’ and won’t negotiate are the government and the utilities – phones, gas, water, power type of outfits. They have their rules and they seem to delight in spending $10.00 to chase $1.00. Everyone else knows that what comes around goes around and that it’s better to get something than nothing.
I remember from a long time ago a sequence of adverse events when my wife conceived and didn’t want my daughter. I went back home and watched as a healthy business went down, down, down while my expenses went up, up, up! In those days we owed a major supplier some $30k which was probably the equivalent of $100k now.
I went to this dude who knew me pretty well and said to him, “Bob, I’ve come back to sort this mess out. If you squeeze me you’ll get nothing and I’ll let it go. If you work with me though, I’ll make sure you get paid in full! It’ll just take me some time.” He did, and we sorted it all out, eventually.
KCET did all the wrong things – indecision, lack of effective leadership, self-interest, obfuscation – the works! As a direct consequence of this all I am sure that they will be liquidated – voluntarily or by force.
Learn from these guys everyone.
UPDATE: Today’s Supreme Court ruling (https://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/assets/cases/2022/2022-NZSC-80.pdf) determining against Family First makes the situation in regards to actual vs. theoretical purposes live for KCET .With a lack of effective decision-making capacity KCET’s continued Charitable registration status becomes questionable. Put simply a trust can ‘intend’ to conduct a charitable activity only so long. It could be argued that protecting ownership of assets is not a charitable activity per se and that today’s ruling would be problematic to KCET’s charitable trust status.