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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stonehenge Aotearoa - Royal Society involved in massive con:





"Stonehenge Aotearoa" - funded by the Royal Society and the subject of bitter dispute and serious allegations of fraud and malfeasance - exactly like the kind that went on at the former Carterton Community Centre:

"Original commentary from Mark Knowles on TPAS Facebook page, also recorded at this link.
Mr Hall’s version of the truth…

As members of a society, you should be very concerned when a member like Mr Hall starts shouting about being in the right all the time, pointing blame at others, but never admitting fault, or his own wrong doing.

The High Court found Mr Hall to have a material and going conflict of interest. If elected President, it shall be difficult if not impossible for Mr Hall to be loyal to the society when he has company using society assets to make money and at the same time is the sole the land owner on which those assets stand. The Judge also agreed with the society and its membership with the action it took.

In his affidavit, Mr Hall denied a conflict of interest and continues to do; making no mention if it in his mass email. His resolution to this conflict – Strip the society of charitable status, sell or give the clubrooms to Starlore (his company), without consulting the greater membership. He has already attempted that later but was turned down by present council. It is also a breach of the constitution. Something he quotes when it suites his own purpose.

For the society, losing charitable status will affect future funding. The Society will not be able to apply for grants, society assets will decline.

Mr Hall’s loyalty is to himself and Starlore shareholders who have given him substantial amounts of money to develop Stonehenge Aotearoa and Starlore LTD. As shareholders their interest is in making a return on their investment and they will do this using the society assets, at the society’s expense.
This has been Mr Hall’s plan for a very long time, and now that he’s not at council meetings and able to influence its direction, he is making a desperate grab for power, all whiles promoting himself as some great saviour.

As a society My Hall has got you into a rather big mess to the tune of $100,000 over the past 7 years. With his partner Kay Leather, there was little stopping them:

• The loss of the Matariki Telescope. Rumsey’s do trust Mr Hall because he lied about the Matariki Trust

• Spending Society funds by Kay Leather on the visitor Centre without society/council approval. Computers Fridges etc

• Accepting personal loans to the society during Mr Hall Presidency. (money and spending from Kay Leather and loan from Mr Dobson)

• $6,000 of society money spent by Richard and Lesley Hall on obsolete telescope equipment without society/council approval (Nankivell Observatory)

• $40,000 on a visitor centre. Not put to the membership to vote on and no principle paid in 7 years – just interest. Whilst Richard paid himself with visitor fees

• Repaying the visitor centre loan at 12% $30,000 – money now lost.

• $8,000~$13,000 per year operation losses running Stonehenge Aotearoa, put against the Society.

• Buildings rotting whilst Mr Hall paid himself and others with proceeds from Stonehenge

• Observatory equipment degrading and not being looked after, as there was no funds available to repair them

Legal Fees for Phoenix having to represent itself at the High Court in the Hall’s Matrimonial Property dispute. (at Mr Halls request)

Amounts based on a review of TPAS books 2005-present

Mr Hall believes Stonehenge Aotearoa could be a $500,000+ per annum business and has been blurring the line between charity and business for years. ($500k quoted from email, Mr Hall to council and some society members May 2010)

$500,000 per annum would require a year round stream of 650 people per week, paying $15 per guided tour. Let alone $5 for unguided tours. On current opening hours that requires nearly 45 people per hour going through the gate.

• Do you really think this is possible? It hasn’t happened in nearly 7 years… why will it happen now with Starlore?


Is Phoenix an astronomy club, Charity or Mr Hall’s Business venture?

• Do you really think you’ll be able to access the clubrooms with 45 people per hour going through it?

• You currently don’t have access to your clubrooms during the day because Mr Hall insists that Starlore has first dibs for Starlore operations.

• Tours are now run via the clubrooms (in the front door, then out through at back) and Mr Hall wants Starlore to have exclusive clubroom use for All school holidays and public holidays. (This happened without asking the present Council)
Is this what you want?

Ask yourself:
• Why is a business using incorporated Society assets for financial gain?
• Why has a charity (Phoenix) been picking up the losses for Stonehenge?
• Why have the accounts never been audited or had a forensic account review them for transparency; since Stonehenge operation began?
• Why does the society use Mr Hall’s personal accountant?
• Where are the trusts to protect the society and its assets? Mr Hall talked about and promised trusts during his 10 year Presidency? Where are they?
• Why is Mr Hall insisting that he be a permanent Trustee on the trusts? (Matariki Telescope Trust Deed, Firebird business plan presented to council July 2010)
• Where is the trust for Stonehenge Aotearoa, as per the agreement between Phoenix and the Royal Society for its $50,000 grant?
• Where is the business plan to make money out of Stonehenge Aotearoa?
• Why have society workshops and education programmes been stopped from using the clubrooms during the day?
• How is it that Mr Hall was President for 10 years, took part in council meetings up to March 2011 yet denies any fault for the societies current position?
• How is it possible that the society is in such a big mess, yet Kay Leather (Mr Hall’s Partner) had been Treasurer until April 2011?
• Why do other astronomers throughout refer to Richard Hall as “Tricky Dickie”
• Why do you vote for President, yet 3 other people end up on council?
The society and its constitution was set-up to serve Mr Hall and to make it difficult for anyone to challenge him. This is why he deflects questions of accountability and blames others for the society’s current problems.
Society Council Meetings
• Mr Hall attended and had input into every meeting, influencing council decisions at all council meetings for the past 3 years ending April 2011, his last attendance was when Kay Leather was asked to stand down due to conflict of interest, being society Treasurer of Phoenix and Director of Starlore.
• In 2010 Mr Hall insisted that Lesley Hall, Bernard Watt, Bernard’s Father and two women (signed up by Lesley Hall just prior to the AGM) be kicked out the Society.
• In May 2011 Mr Hall and Kay Leather signed up people to vote at the AGM in the same manner as Lesley Hall did in 2010.
Why then, is the constitution not being applied in the same manner to the likes of Helen Winterbottom and the others Mr Hall and Kay Leather signed up? Maybe they are more tolerant and open minded? Maybe they don’t have ANY to gain financially from the society?
Head of Agreement – Starlore and Phoenix.
• Mr Hall insisted the Heads of Agreement between Starlore and Phoenix be kept secret from the membership. Why? Commercially sensitive? No. Because he did not want to disclose his intention to the membership whilst using charitable society assets to profit from.
• Mr Hall also requested the society to hand ownership of the clubrooms to Starlore in the HOA, without consulting the membership, as per the constitution
• Mr Hall has not been able to keep to the original agreement and continues to demand more access and leeway to do whatever he wants, when he wants with Society Assets to run Starlore (his business)
Constitution
• Elections -Vote for President and 4 of the 7 council members get elected
• Main Goal – Research observatory and education. So why is Mr Hall running a business?
• Obtain and maintain charitable status. So why is Mr Hall planning to quickly and decisively REMOVE charitable status if he becomes president?
• Why are there no conflict of interest clauses in the constitution?
• Why has Mr Hall proposed a team of 7, the entire council?
Because it was written by Mr Hall, for Mr Hall to maintain control. That’s not democratic and the upcoming election is about Money and Control over the Society.
Be warned Phoenix members, vote Mr Hall in as President and Phoenix morph into society that serves Mr Halls money making plans, applying the constitution as he sees fit.
Fact is, Mr Hall is an unassuming man, seemingly trustworthily and honest. The truth of the matter, he’s just like Bernard Madoff, who ripped off millions of dollars and is not to be trusted.
Regards
Mark Knowles
As members of a society, you should be very concerned when a member like Mr Hall starts shouting about being in the right all the time, pointing blame at others, but never admitting fault, or his own wrong doing.
The High Court found Mr Hall to have a material and going conflict of interest. If elected President, it shall be difficult if not impossible for Mr Hall to be loyal to the society when he has company using society assets to make money and at the same time is the sole the land owner on which those assets stand. The Judge also agreed with the society and its membership with the action it took.
In his affidavit, Mr Hall denied a conflict of interest and continues to do; making no mention if it in his mass email. His resolution to this conflict – Strip the society of charitable status, sell or give the clubrooms to Starlore (his company), without consulting the greater membership. He has already attempted that later but was turned down by present council. It is also a breach of the constitution. Something he quotes when it suites his own purpose.
For the society, losing charitable status will affect future funding. The Society will not be able to apply for grants, society assets will decline.
Mr Hall’s loyalty is to himself and Starlore shareholders who have given him substantial amounts of money to develop Stonehenge Aotearoa and Starlore LTD. As shareholders their interest is in making a return on their investment and they will do this using the society assets, at the society’s expense.
This has been Mr Hall’s plan for a very long time, and now that he’s not at council meetings and able to influence its direction, he is making a desperate grab for power, all whiles promoting himself as some great saviour.
As a society My Hall has got you into a rather big mess to the tune of $100,000 over the past 7 years. With his partner Kay Leather, there was little stopping them:
• The loss of the Matariki Telescope. Rumsey’s do trust Mr Hall because he lied about the Matariki Trust
• Spending Society funds by Kay Leather on the visitor Centre without society/council approval. Computers Fridges etc
• Accepting personal loans to the society during Mr Hall Presidency. (money and spending from Kay Leather and loan from Mr Dobson)
• $6,000 of society money spent by Richard and Lesley Hall on obsolete telescope equipment without society/council approval (Nankivell Observatory)
• $40,000 on a visitor centre. Not put to the membership to vote on and no principle paid in 7 years – just interest. Whilst Richard paid himself with visitor fees
• Repaying the visitor centre loan at 12% $30,000 – money now lost.
• $8,000~$13,000 per year operation losses running Stonehenge Aotearoa, put against the Society.
• Buildings rotting whilst Mr Hall paid himself and others with proceeds from Stonehenge
• Observatory equipment degrading and not being looked after, as there was no funds available to repair them
• Legal Fees for Phoenix having to represent itself at the High Court in the Hall’s Matrimonial Property dispute. (at Mr Halls request)
Amounts based on a review of TPAS books 2005-present
Mr Hall believes Stonehenge Aotearoa could be a $500,000+ per annum business and has been blurring the line between charity and business for years. ($500k quoted from email, Mr Hall to council and some society members May 2010)
$500,000 per annum would require a year round stream of 650 people per week, paying $15 per guided tour. Let alone $5 for unguided tours. On current opening hours that requires nearly 45 people per hour going through the gate.
• Do you really think this is possible? It hasn’t happened in nearly 7 years… why will it happen now with Starlore?
• Is Phoenix an astronomy club, Charity or Mr Hall’s Business venture?
• Do you really think you’ll be able to access the clubrooms with 45 people per hour going through it?
• You currently don’t have access to your clubrooms during the day because Mr Hall insists that Starlore has first dibs for Starlore operations.
• Tours are now run via the clubrooms (in the front door, then out through at back) and Mr Hall wants Starlore to have exclusive clubroom use for All school holidays and public holidays. (This happened without asking the present council)
Is this what you want?
Ask yourself:
• Why is a business using incorporated Society assets for financial gain?
• Why has a charity (Phoenix) been picking up the losses for Stonehenge?
• Why have the accounts never been audited or had a forensic account review them for transparency; since Stonehenge operation began?
• Why does the society use Mr Hall’s personal accountant?
• Where are the trusts to protect the society and its assets? Mr Hall talked about and promised trusts during his 10 year Presidency? Where are they?
• Why is Mr Hall insisting that he be a permanent Trustee on the trusts? (Matariki Telescope Trust Deed, Firebird business plan presented to council July 2010)
• Where is the trust for Stonehenge Aotearoa, as per the agreement between Phoenix and the Royal Society for its $50,000 grant?
• Where is the business plan to make money out of Stonehenge Aotearoa?
• Why have society workshops and education programmes been stopped from using the clubrooms during the day?
• How is it that Mr Hall was President for 10 years, took part in council meetings up to March 2011 yet denies any fault for the societies current position?
• How is it possible that the society is in such a big mess, yet Kay Leather (Mr Hall’s Partner) had been Treasurer until April 2011?
• Why do other astronomers throughout refer to Richard Hall as “Tricky Dickie”
• Why do you vote for President, yet 3 other people end up on council?
The society and its constitution was set-up to serve Mr Hall and to make it difficult for anyone to challenge him. This is why he deflects questions of accountability and blames others for the society’s current problems.
Society Council Meetings
• Mr Hall attended and had input into every meeting, influencing council decisions at all council meetings for the past 3 years ending April 2011, his last attendance was when Kay Leather was asked to stand down due to conflict of interest, being society Treasurer of Phoenix and Director of Starlore.
• In 2010 Mr Hall insisted that Lesley Hall, Bernard Watt, Bernard’s Father and two women (signed up by Lesley Hall just prior to the AGM) be kicked out the Society.
• In May 2011 Mr Hall and Kay Leather signed up people to vote at the AGM in the same manner as Lesley Hall did in 2010.
Why then, is the constitution not being applied in the same manner to the likes of Helen Winterbottom and the others Mr Hall and Kay Leather signed up? Maybe they are more tolerant and open minded? Maybe they don’t have ANY to gain financially from the society?
Head of Agreement – Starlore and Phoenix.
• Mr Hall insisted the Heads of Agreement between Starlore and Phoenix be kept secret from the membership. Why? Commercially sensitive? No. Because he did not want to disclose his intention to the membership whilst using charitable society assets to profit from.
• Mr Hall also requested the society to hand ownership of the clubrooms to Starlore in the HOA, without consulting the membership, as per the constitution
• Mr Hall has not been able to keep to the original agreement and continues to demand more access and leeway to do whatever he wants, when he wants with Society Assets to run Starlore (his business)

Constitution
• Elections -Vote for President and 4 of the 7 council members get elected
• Main Goal – Research observatory and education. So why is Mr Hall running a business?
• Obtain and maintain charitable status. So why is Mr Hall planning to quickly and decisively REMOVE charitable status if he becomes president?
• Why are there no conflict of interest clauses in the constitution?
• Why has Mr Hall proposed a team of 7, the entire council?
Because it was written by Mr Hall, for Mr Hall to maintain control. That’s not democratic and the upcoming election is about Money and Control over the Society.
Be warned Phoenix members, vote Mr Hall in as President and Phoenix morph into society that serves Mr Halls money making plans, applying the constitution as he sees fit.
Fact is, Mr Hall is an unassuming man, seemingly trustworthily and honest. The truth of the matter, he’s just like Bernard Madoff, who ripped off millions of dollars and is not to be trusted.
Regards
Mark Knowles"

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