Updated: Feb 12
New Zealand's employment lawyers have specialised in allowing "using public office for private gain". Official coverups are available for a bit of slap and tickle or maybe the occasional rape, and for corruption that's become everyday in New Zealand.
One of the most famous employment lawyers for doing this is Anna "Fun Bum" Fitzgibbon. I've had my eye on her for a while, see it here.
The nickname she is known by is one she gave herself.
In 2014 she awarded $5,000 to Bruce Sansom for sexually assaulting Ella Newman, who had the "cheek" to complain about that to the Employment Relations Authority. Anna Fitzgibbon was then employed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as a member of the Authority.
Famously, she said the assault on Ella Newman was a "Fun Bum" slap.
She ordered extra costs against Ms Newman for daring to complain.
Yes folks, you heard that right.
A victim can be ordered by a Ministry official to pay a pervert, for reporting him to a Ministry official.
In New Zealand.
And that Ministry official doesn't get fired. She doesn't get slapped down by the Law Society as a government lawyer. She gets promoted ...
"Fun Bum" was also famous for talking about herself as a "judge" and doing things judges can't do anyway.
In 2017 she ordered employment advocate and anti-bullying campaigner Allan Halse not to "comment" on the Bay of Plenty District Health Board. Allan Halse said he had the right of "free expression", and the Bay of Plenty officials knew they couldn't sue him for defamation if what he said was true. But they knew they could get employment lawyers like Fun Bum to prohibit speaking the truth.
And that meant officials could do whatever they liked.
Manager Peter Chandler had sacked cardiological physiologist Ana Shaw for reporting fraud to him in 2015. After Fun Bum's order, he started stalking Ana Shaw at her new work.
Fun Bum started making more and more orders against Halse and later against Ana Shaw.
We haven't heard Peter Chandler tried to exercise the right to a "Fun Bum" slap on Ana Shaw. But we saw Fun Bum branch out into other criminal areas using the same "prohibitions".
Also in 2017, Fun Bum helped fraudsters from Victoria University to wreck the career of several people, including for example Professor Kate McGrath.
Fun Bum accepted that Tony Smith and Gordon Stewart had faked HR records and stolen a lot of money from Victoria University. But she held that Caroline Sawyer, a lecturer there who had claimed constructive dismissal because the University would not correct the fake reports about her, had been ordered not to report on it.
Victoria University then got Professor Kate McGrath, a world-level Professor of Chemistry, to complain in an affidavit that Caroline Sawyer had ... talked to her about going to a Transparency International lecture on Grand Corruption in New Zealand hosted at Victoria University. Yes Kiwis. If Fun Bum has ordered you to keep quiet about corruption, you can't even think about it or Fun Bum will "fine" you.
Guess who Victoria University's lawyers were ... Geoff Davenport and Mary Scholtens QC, a mate of Helen Cull and Auditor-General Martin Matthews... they all got paid public money ... for asking Fun Bum to pretend she was a District Judge who could order fines and reparations for reporting crooks to their employers!
A government official ordering someone to pay money to another government official ... for reporting their corruption ... come on, Fun Bum !
Come on Kiwis!
Don't you know what that is called?!
We don't know exactly when but Kate McGrath seemed to realise she was caught up in really bad corruption. She fled to Australia ... like Peter Whittall before her ... in April 2018. We also don't know whether she fessed up to University of Technology Sydney, where she is now Deputy Vice-Chancellor, but there probably isn't any place far enough to get away from this scandal.
Fun Bum actually tried to hide her own order naming Tony Smith and Gordon Stewart by making another order suppressing her own documents. Ministry officials can't do that. She was actually just making evidence of covering up her own coverup!
In 2018, Fun Bum ordered Peter Chandler's DHB-funded lawyers to sue Halse for "contempt" for speaking up for Chandler's victim Ana Shaw. Apparently Ana Shaw was supposed to lie down for Chandler, the way Ella Newman was supposed to lie down, or was it put out, for Bruce Sanson ....
Judge Bruce Corkill went the next step for Fun Bum. He said Fun Bum had no power to order that her order was enforced in the Employment Court but hey he was going to do that anyway. We've reported on Judge Corkill here.
Judge Bruce Corkill was not just singing from the same song sheet as Fun Bum.
Tony Smith and Gordon Stewart's own lawyer Helen Cull set up the Victoria University corruption coverup. If it was like the other cases, she got paid public money to do that. Then Chris Finlayson, as the Attorney-General, appointed Helen Cull as a judge - and Chris Finlayson and Tony Smith tried to get Parliament to make a law saying you can't even talk about corruption by judges!
Judge Kerry Smith sang from the same song sheet as Fun Bum too. We've reported on Judge Smith here.
Oh, come on Kiwis!
Well, congratulations to Fun Bum! a gift to anyone who wants a reason to appeal if judges were supposed to be held to their judicial oath, she is now going to be a District Judge in Auckland North Shore.
Judges who enjoy "punishing" women who object to sexual harassment aren't unknown. But sorry to say it's probably Fun Bum's involvement in money fraud that will be a bigger scandal.
FOOTNOTE: An incredulous Pennsylvania attorney reported Ms Newman's matter in December 2014.