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SFO says no union fraud

The Serious Fraud Office says it won't take up AFFCO's complaint against the New Zealand Meat Workers Union.

As reported yesterday, AFFCO complained to the SFO about what it called "irregularities" in the union's financial statements.

SFO chief executive Adam Feeley says there is no evidence of fraud.

However, he left the door open for further action, adding that any regulatory compliance issues should be considered by the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.

“We encourage any member of the public to contact us where they have any reasonable grounds to believe that a serious financial crime may be taking place," Mr Feeley says in a statement.

"However, it is equally important that the resources of law enforcement agencies are not unnecessarily drawn into matters where other, more appropriate, courses of action are available.”

The SFO says it told AFFCO and the union of its decision. 

NZ Meat Workers Union general secretary Dave Eastlake told NBR Online the decision was "not unexpected".

However, he says the union's office staff had packaged up its balance sheets in preparation for Mr Eastlake to deliver them to the SFO personally.

"That won't be necessary now," he says.

"There is nothing to hide and everything's done as per our rules and as per our requirements - we've checked and re-checked that in recent months."

Mr Eastlake described as "not correct" claims made earlier today by AFFCO chief executive Hamish Simson that union subs from different plants were paid into a central union account.  

Today's mediation negotiations between the union and AFFCO are going "slowly", he says.

AFFCO, owned by NBR Rich Listers the Talley family, has been embroiled in an industrial dispute with the union, which has seen weeks of strike action and lockouts this year, with many workers quitting the union and taking individual contracts.

More by David Williams

Comments and questions

huh? why arnt they freezing assetts and ruling years later?

I bet you Five Fingers knows that the Registrar of Incorporated Societies has no budget for enforcement.

I laid a complaint with them and they told me, zero budget, so they would not be investigating.

Birds of a feather Mr. Feeley...

Smoke.... fire....

Surely the Unions and their political arm the Labour Party will want full disclosure to the public so they can demonstrate their transparency, prove their innocence and increase their ratings in the polls... espcailly after Labour's attempted theft of almost $1,000,000 in 2008 when they deliberately over-spent their allocation requiring them to retrospectively change the law so as not to have to prosecute themselves for theft / State Treason / attempted election rigging etc.

Surely the public deserve to know if one of the 2 main political parties have some dodgy, highly suspucious and murky financial irregularities?

Brilliant sunlight disinfects like no other...

sfo didn't say no fraud - just no evidence of it in what they were given. very different.

I used to think that unions were the cause of lots of labour problems. But the antics of management here as well as at POAL have convinced me that in NZ at least, it is management behind most of the problems - with their naked greed, simplistic approaches, mostly unskilled & uneducated men 'in the right clubs'.

Got to love those Talleys boys they have a philosophy and they stick to it, in what ever industry them get into