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The New Zealand Public Party (NZPP) Director Michael Stace resigned from his position on January 4. This comes to light after recent contention surrounding NZPP Leader Billy Te Kahika and financial woes he faced.
On the NZPP website, a long message overrides the original content. It reads the whole situation Stace faced within the party itself.
Founder Sam Hudson of thisquality managed to catch an interview with the party leader in between the drama. Te Kahika bypassed questions about freemasonry and his business dealings outside of the political party NZPP.
Stace writes in a statement: “Throughout the campaign which, as we all know was hugely successful despite the outcome, there were unending attacks from armchair social media ‘reporters’ and regular assaults from the mainstream media. The barrage was endless, and the stories all centred around common themes of behaviour and operation.”
The attacks from said reporters consisted of control, manipulation, broken promises and financial irregularities since it started.
Before the election, the campaign was just getting started. According to Stace, Te Kahika's behaviour was broadly ‘tolerated', but it has turned ugly since the end of the 2020 general election.
Allegedly Stace says Te Kahika treated his party business partners like they were individual staff, and did activities alone.
“Working with him has been untenable and unsustainable. Billy treated the party partners like they were his personal staff. He went about his activities as a ‘lone wolf’. He promised jobs within the party to people that he met while campaigning. He was consistently demeaning to his colleagues and showed no respect,” Stace said.
“Meetings and Zooms with people were promised and repeatedly blown-off (he did not show up). This is not how an organisation should be run, and it makes it difficult to grow or maintain any growth achieved.”
When planned, the party faced financial irregularities. Allegedly money gathered was missing from being put as initially planned into the party account and not personal accounts.
“Billy held an impromptu fundraising dinner for NZPP called ’Dinner with Billy’ in Tauranga on 18th November 2020. He did not want any assistance, and it was last minute. The end result was a fiasco, as half of the people did not pay the entry fee. Over a thousand dollars for the meals was paid to the restaurant, there was about $500 left — which Billy pocketed,” Stace said.
“Not one dollar ever reached the bank account of NZPP, as had been agreed.”
Te Kahika posted personal bank account details to the once-known political page that is now banned, that was joined with Advance NZ. At the time NZPP was joined together. People could send him money directly to his personal account rather than the party bank account. It was later changed by administrators managing the page to go directly into the official NZPP bank account.
“We were dismayed to see that comments were coming thick and fast asking us if the earlier post was a scam. The original post from Billy was screenshot and shared widely by the party's detractors as proof of wrongdoing,” Stace said.
It was noted Stace allegedly never earned any income from the party and neither did administrators who were working as full-time staff. Stace lived on his savings accordingly. “there would have to be some type of payment to the administrators as we need to live, eat [and] pay rent,” he said.
Faith was not given up, and Stace continued to try and build the party in getting it registered, but that did not turn out to happen in the end.
NZPP was put on hold on December 31 where Stace and his company Rubicon Crossing 2020 Ltd was set up to manage a previous party IP Reset New Zealand [party]. “I had a Deed of Trust created that gave Rubicon Crossing 2020 Ltd the authority to manage Reset New Zealand, then New Zealand Public Party,” he said.
The secretary of NZPP, Bill Karaitiana, left leaving all accounting and assets to Stace.
“In June, the Intellectual Property (IP) of the Logo and Name was transferred and registered to the party itself (New Zealand Public Party) and is therefore no longer under Billy’s ownership,” Stace said.
“Since I was literally financing the entire NZPP endeavour myself without any salary or payment from NZPP, I retained ownership of all of the IT, domain names, and databases. This proved a saving grace when NZPP merged with Advance NZ and later split from Advance NZ.”
“Billy has, in his words, removed Michelle (the Party Secretary) and myself from the movement. I said ‘movement' because Billy has no authority to remove us from the Party itself.”
Te Kahika demanded Stace gives him the membership database, declaring ‘war' against him overtaking the ownership. Stace called the party a ‘cult' rather than a cause for the people's movement.
“It would not be right to give Billy the membership database under these circumstances especially when, as a party, we were trying to remove EXACTLY these types of people from Parliament!,” Stace said.
“When we had our executive meeting in Christchurch in November, I brought up the fact that as part of party registration we would need to provide a written Constitution to the membership, and what’s more, we would need a Board of Directors. Billy did not want a Board of Directors as he feared they would and could countermand him. He also did not want any written constitution that could possibly remove him as leader of the NZPP Party,” Stace said.
The database was placed with a legal team with an agreement that the party must be run and maintained for a minimum of two full calendar years, that the Incorporated Society writes a constitution, the Constitution would be bound for a full two years before it could be amended and that the Incorporated Society appoints a Board of Director of at-least eight people; vetted by a third party.
“So many people have supported us; given of their time and money. They deserve the transparency and accountability that was so often preached to them, otherwise this has just been one grand misrepresentation by Billy,” Stace said.
“We have had a small amount of people do recurring weekly and monthly donations. Please be assured that all of those recurring payments have been completely cancelled. If you are still being charged, please check if the charge is coming from AdvanceNZ instead.”
“It has been one heck of a ride being involved in the possibility of getting into Parliament and I feel quite humbled by all of the supporters that I have had the opportunity to speak with and get to know personally.”
“There is no possibility of a political party making any change to the New Zealand government — this is because the New Zealand Government is only a corporation, and has no sovereignty over the people. There are many reasons for taking this action, but for this reason alone it is sensible to put NZPP into hiatus at this time,” concluded Stace.
Michael Stace was contacted for comment by thisquality, so was Billy Te Kahika. This article may be amended in the future.
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