We recently reported on two New Zealand Law Lords, who set out to use the New Zealand legal system very cleverly to put themselves above it.
Now here to be fair are some Law Ladies with similar ideas: left to right that's Helen Cull, Stephanie Dyhrberg and Mary Scholtens.
We understand, from their own words and actions, that these Ladies were looking for promotion to the judiciary. And we also understand they were prepared to do pretty much anything to get there.
It got off to a good start.
Helen Cull helped out Law Lord Tony Smith's assistant, her old, close friend Gordon Stewart, and made a name for herself thirty years ago as the leading lady for covering up sexual harassment in New Zealand.
She got a coverup order in 1991 from a High Court judge who did Maori work in Hawkes Bay ... no it wasn't actually her Dad! He ordered that the Press couldn't report about a sexual harassment grievance at Wellington university, because it was "confidential".
Wouldn't you say that if you were a harasser, or a fraudster? "My crime was confidential, Your Honour. No evidence of it may be given." We think that was a stroke of genius and enough to bring the country to its knees.
Before the new Helen Cull-style order, the common law did not allow coverups of "iniquity". The new Helen Cull-style orders opened the way to legalising not only sex offences but fraud, especially fraud committed by - and covered up by - lawyers. The idea was that if someone said something was "confidential", you would have to prove the "iniquity" or you couldn't talk about it. So, simple! Just add to the iniquity by hiding the evidence. That's actually a crime, but if it's hidden... If public servants committed frauds, they could also steal public money to pay the lawyers to get a judge to cover it up. Genius again!
Gordon Stewart left his job at Victoria University after the 1991 coverup order, but after a spell as a taxi driver he was taken back into admin. Tony Smith gave him academic titles, and we understand that his old close friend Helen Cull may really have believed he was an academic. If you play with tricksters, unfortunately they may trick you!
Tony Smith and Helen Cull advised the Law Society on Ethics and the Rule of Law. The New Zealand Law Society began to "respect" and later even enforce Helen Cull-style coverups. There was nobody to stop the lawyers from helping themselves to public money to cover up crimes by public servants, because the Law Society is the organization that is supposed to do that.
Did Law Lord Tony Smith encourage Helen Cull to believe he could use his influence to get her a judge position? That would be "confidential"... like how he got his own position...
Solicitor Stephanie Dyhrberg wanted to be a judge too. Nothing wrong with that but it depends what you are prepared to do to get there.
Then Smith and Stewart were caught faking. They seem to have thought the whole game was up.
Stephane Dyhrberg helped Helen Cull run a fraud to cover up Smith and Stewart's faking. It was huge and took months. A number of other lawyers took part, for more public money, in the biggest coverup since Erebus.
That's your money, taxpayers.
They nearly got away with it. (Well they got away with the money anyway.)
Stephanie Dyhrberg and the other lawyers loyally stole and hid almost all the evidence of faking and also evidence of Cull's part in the fraudulent coverup. Then they agreed - to cover it up!
Helen Cull got her judge position.
So what went wrong?
You have to be clever and careful to fake things for years, keep the fakes to use to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars for a very complicated coverup ... and also make the fakes disappear. There is still plenty of hard evidence of Smith and Stewart's faking. Some of the lawyers involved even realised and we understand regretted what they had done.
When it looked as though the fraud might be exposed, evidence against Cull and Radich was provided to the victim by the Law Lords and other lawyers.... If you play with fraudsters, you may find they are not entirely reliable people.
Helen Cull could still rely on coverups of crime being legal. Now she just had to get an even bigger coverup, for herself.
Luckily Law Lady Mary Scholtens was equally keen to get her hands on public money. You might remember her as the person who later acted for Martin Matthews, saying he should not have been pushed to resign as Auditor General just because he had not dealt with... a fraudster (Joanne Harrison). Mary Scholtens got orders against Helen Cull's victim that would embarrass any country that wasn't already past embarrassment. We'll discuss those later. They are a much bigger problem for New Zealand even than Helen Cull.
Lawyers can't be criticised for asking for an order to cover up crime if a judge makes the order - that makes it legal. Judges are immune to prosecution for their orders. The police have to obey the judges' coverups. MPs agreed to allow the frauds and reinforce the coverups rather than speak out.
Once it gets started, it's quite hard to talk about it - legalised fraud!
Nasty discovery for Helen Cull, as we understand it...
According to a statement of Mary Scholtens, it appears Helen Cull ran her complicated, incriminating repeat of the original 1991 coverup in 2014 after seeing emails discussing certain "sexual proclivities" in an "email relationship" between Stewart and the victim. We also understand the victim's emails said she was leaving New Zealand.
The victim didn't leave New Zealand. The "sexual proclivities" emails were circulated around the Wellington legal profession to destroy the victim and make her leave so Helen Cull would not be exposed. Mates of Cull and Scholtens required the victim to leave New Zealand or they would "ruin" her. She was threatened and attacked.
Except ... the "email relationship" was fake as well.
The "sexual proclivities" were talked about to get Helen Cull to cover them up, along with the forgeries and frauds. The same with the claim that the victim was leaving New Zealand. If you play with tricksters, you may find they trick you too.
After that, Helen Cull and her Law Lady friends must have felt it was lucky that so many public servants and judges rushed to protect them, and that government Ministers did not mind taking political risks for her. We'll discuss those later too.
Judicial corruption is a slow ticking bomb. If judges cover up for each other by damaging anyone they are afraid will expose them, and MPs do not speak up even in Parliament, there is nobody to sort it out. The bomb will sizzle until it blows up.
We have no suggestions to offer at this point. We think the Lords and Ladies have cleverly beaten the system. To a pulp.