The perverse Pimpernel

Guess which of these two women was criminally convicted while the other one was given an “invitation” to correct her offending for the exact same offence?

19 December 2011
If the public ever sought a benevolent dictator to make the important decisions affecting their lives, Supreme Court Justice Sian Elias would seem a perfect candidate. Her decisions are consistently the most cogently reasoned on the Court and her unassuming and elflike appearance is disarming, if not engaging. She is overtly a staunch supporter of the rule of law and one rarely hears a bad word about her.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Sian Elias
Supreme Court Chief Justice Sian Elias

But, as any true historian knows, the corrupting elixir of power and unaccountability eventually devours the soul and turns the benevolent into tyrants. Dictators become skilled in the use of propaganda. And as one famous dictator stated, “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”

So, should we be concerned when evidence surfaces the mature and wise woman-of-the-law “Dame” Sian Elias has criminally broken the law? Should we awake to the reality of the “free pass” she was given when a 27-year old Chinese immigrant was criminally convicted at the same time for the identical breach?

Auckland Judges David Harvey, Robert Kerr and Raynor Asher all evaded the clear evidence of Elias’s identical criminal guilt – facts which have gone unreported in the New Zealand media.

Even though each, in subsequent chorus, decreed the offence had “enormous implications and tainted the integrity of the Companies Office Registry”, they declared the offence was one not commonly prosecuted when Elias’s name and that of current Justice Minister Judith Collins surfaced for the same offence.

Dame Elias was consequently given an “invitation” to abide by the law, while the 27 year old Lulu Zhang  – who had operated under the instructions of her Kiwi boss – was convicted and discharged.

Lulu Zhang
Lulu Zhang

Investigation disclosed Zhang’s boss, Geoffrey Taylor, 67, and his sons Ian and Michael, had created some 2,500 shell companies in New Zealand and abroad. On instructions, Ms Zhang had signed on as director of 73 of these companies and had given her business address to the Companies Office in the registration process, where the statute required her to give her residential address. That was a criminal offence. The summary of facts in her subsequent criminal prosecution highlighted and underlined section 12 2(b) of the Companies Act which required “The full name and residential address of every director of the proposed company”.

One of these 73 shell companies, SP Trading Limited, was traced to an illegal shipment of $25 million in Arms from North Korea to Iran in 2009.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cancelled her visit to New Zealand in early 2010 due in part to this connection, although the “official” reason for the cancellation was given as the Haiti earthquake.

In the preliminary hearings which proved the NZ Courts were intent to throw a young Chinese woman under the bus for this embarrassment, District Judge Harvey called counsel into chambers to state he was taking it upon himself to order defence evidence in the case suppressed on the ground Justice Elias’s “privacy should be protected” despite no application for suppression to the court.

This mysterious scandal would add dramatic twists to The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Ms Zhang – a skilled and productive asset to the New Zealand economy – has had her residency revoked as a result of her conviction, is currently at large and officially classified as an overstayer. In contrast, the English born Dame Elias – who fibbed on her Companies Office application in providing a false Auckland apartment complex address and, when caught out, accepted the government invitation to correct her false declaration – is getting paid $650,000+ per year in wages and benefits to administer the law as New Zealand’s highest judge. On the odd day Ms Elias can be found determining the legal fate of the masses in the $100 million Supreme Court building which heard 36 appeals last year.

Postscript: The dictator quoted in paragraph three is Adolph Hitler. As with most Germans in pre-war Germany, most New Zealanders will refute the suggestion they could be so gullible.