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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    236

    Default Is the Auckland PIA in turmoil

    What is happening with here

    Emails received today

    Dear Kerry

    We are contacting you out of a deep concern for how the APIA board is functioning and how your association is being operated.

    As you may now be aware there have been issues between Board Members and problems between the Board and Ashley Church as the CEO of the Association. We feel an obligation to bring these issues to your attention and clearly explain what they are, as Ashley has just yesterday announced he is standing for the Board, and in his candidate profile has attacked several members of the Board.

    We are professional people and expect the Board to operate in a professional way, so we are very disappointed as to this turn of events. The debate between Board Members relates to the extent to which the APIA is a profit making venture, and one that seeks to give independent advice to its members.

    The reason why we see that profit has become a focus is that our CEO is paid on a share of profits from seminars, sponsorship, and your membership dues. This changes the focus of our organisation and risks us losing our independence and credibility as an industry organisation.

    For this reason, we are standing for the Board to change this focus. We have also persuaded Andrew King and Tony Steindle to stand for the Board as experienced and independent candidates with no vested interest.

    Both Ashley and another Board member have strongly objected to Andrew King in particular standing for the Board, which has now resulted in Ashley standing. As you may read from Ashley's candidate profile he has made accusations of “vested interest” and “dictatorial control” which without naming Andrew, is intended to refer to him. We want you to know that Andrew King has never used his position as President to dictate or control APIA. He has led by example and has always created an atmosphere were board members can have their equal say on APIA matters. He has never used APIA or his position to advance his own position. In fact he has never received anything for the great achievements he has created through his tireless and unpaid efforts.

    We are deeply concerned that Ashley Church is standing for the board as the CEO is meant to report to the board and it is the board who sets the CEO’s remuneration. Also, it is quite inappropriate for him as the CEO of an organisation to attack Board members.

    Ashley has stated that he wants “to ensure we don't return to the bad old days of one Board Member attempting to control the Association and riding roughshod over the democratic process.” I have been a board member for seven years and I can assure you that these “bad old days” never existed.

    Ashley has said that “the Association stands at a crossroads” and he is correct. You need to choose a board that respects you as APIA members and are not seen as profit generators. You need a board that is willing to put funds back into member benefits, not to increase CEO incomes or sit in the bank. That is the essential difference between the choices you have at this years board elections.

    Our view of how APIA should be operated has been influenced by Human Resource Management Consultants who view the current structure of APIA as needing reform. Two board members and Ashley Church are resisting the use of professional consultants as they want to keep the current structure with its income generating focus.

    To help make this point clear, we have assembled a team of independent people who are not profit motivated and want to see the association fulfil all its objectives, not just those that generate an income.

    Kind regards

    Sue Tierney, Board & Life member

    David Whitburn, Board Secretary

    and now the replies

    Dear Member,

    This would have to rate as one of the saddest days in the history of our Auckland Property Investors Association.

    The attached email, which you no doubt received within the last couple of hours, is riddled with deliberate factual errors, and the timing of its transmission has been designed to deliberately avoid any opportunity for Ashley Church, or the majority of the existing Board to respond before tonights election.

    While there is not time to reply in any detail - please be aware of the following:

    While it is true that Ashleys remuneration package includes a profit-share component - no such payment has yet been paid and Ashleys remuneration has remained, unchanged, since he commenced with the Association in October 2005.
    Ashleys remunuration package was devised by Andrew King in 2005 and proposed to the Board, which accepted it unanimously.
    There have, in fact, been no problems between Ashley Church and the Board. Quite the opposite - the Board has been delighted with Ashleys performance and he has continued to enjoy their confidence and support.
    The recent debate between Board members has absolutely nothing to do with the extent to which the Association engages in Commercial or Business activities. In fact, this area of activity has never been questioned by the Board and our current activities were sanctioned, almost unanimously, by the Board, at an Annual Planning Day in December 2006, and subsequently ratified earlier this year - again, almost unanimously.
    Rather, the recent debate between Board members relates to the extent to which Andrew King has attempted to subvert the democratic and decision making process, and interfere in the Management of the organisation, over the last couple of years. In this regard, in particular, the email from Sue Tierney and David Whitburn is blatantly dishonest. The fact is - there have been major schisms between Andrew and the rest of the Board over a long period of time - leading to a decision to move a motion of no confidence in Andrew, as President, at the June Board Meeting. This was averted only because Andrew gave an assurance to the Board, at that meeting, that he would not stand for the Board again. In return, the majority of members withdrew their notice of a motion of no-confidence and agreed that they would not bring Andrews behaviour to the attention of the members. David Whitburn was appointed as interim Chairman of the Board for the remainder of the term, however the Board decided to allow Andrew to continue to preside over Keynote meetings as their was no desire to embarrass him.
    It is not the purpose of this email to outline the nature of the events which led up to the crisis of confidence in Andrews leadership - except to say that his behaviour was deemed totally unprofessional and unacceptable, and that, up until recently every Board member (including Sue Tierney and David Whitburn) was united against Andrew and pressing for his resignation. This is a fact and runs completely counter to what is claimed in the email you received today.
    It is also our observation that Sue Tierney only seemed to change, in her position toward Andrew, at about the same time as Andrew King became an active supporter of her bid for the Presidency of the Association.
    Ashleys decision to stand as a Candidate for the Board was made with our encouragement and support and was intended to send a very clear signal to members that there are deep-seated and fundamental problems within the organisation that threaten to destroy the good work that has been done over the last couple of years.
    While the use of Human resource Consultants referred to in the Tierney/Whitburn email is correct - it is again, blatantly dishonest to claim that Ashley or other Board Members are resisting use of this Consultant. The Consultants were brought on board to help the Board to define its own role and structure and while it is true that Ashley has (quite reasonably) raised concerns about the degree to which a couple of Board members have tried to use that process to take control of the Management of the organisation - he is not opposed to the process per se, and is, in fact an enthusiastic supoorter of the review.

    The issues facing the Association are not about 'profit' - they are about direction. They are about the degree to which we are prepared to adapt to a professional environment and let our own self interest and personal agendas go, for the betterment of all members and our industry. By their actions, Andrew King, David Whitburn, and Sue Tierney have all demonstrated that they are not willing to make this change.

    Ashley Church has made a huge difference to what we have been able to achieve in a very short period of time. Our organisation is significantly better for his efforts and there would be few members who would not enthusiastically acknowledge what he has accomplished on our behalf.

    Your choice tonight is a stark, but important one. To go forward - or to be dragged backward.

    We have confidence in your commonsense and decency and know that you will not allow this travesty to go unchallenged.

    Best regards


    John May, Vice President
    Annette Kan, Board Member
    Garth Melville, Board Member

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    925

    Default

    This is exactly what APIA did not need. It was a real shame, because the timing looks like people were trying for some pre-election vote scoring. We did not need to know about all the dis-satisfaction. You could just sense the un-ease at tonights meeting as well.

    I am sure and hope they can bounce back from this and put it all behind them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    5,086

    Default

    What were the results of the votes?

    I couldn't make it, so fall in to the 'didn't vote, can't complain' bucket

    cube
    DFTBA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    787

    Default

    cube wrote:
    What were the results of the votes?
    Elected Board Members are:-

    John May
    Simon Shreeve
    Tony Steindle
    Sue Tierney
    David Whitburn
    Andrew King
    Ron Hoy Fong
    Barry Bridgman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    413

    Default

    Is this a school yard (aka Kindergarten) or a professional body representing property investors?

    I don't think anyone has come out well in this exchange. Time for some people to grow up if you ask me!

    LK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    1,520

    Default

    They seem to be losing credibility and experience at the same time, chaos! Perhaps they should include a new rule that states board members must have a minimum of 10 or 15 years of investing experience in order to be allowed to sit on the board and represent their members.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    140

    Thumbs up Consolation for those Aucklanders

    If it is any consolation for those Aucklanders this sort of thing plagues voluntary bodies, and not just property investors associations, and not just in Auckland.

    Have a look at the long running feud between the Wellington Property Investors Association and the NZPIF, or have a look at the NZPIF for the challenges to representation. That looks like it will be fatal to WNPIA as the NZPIF have supported an alternative "joined up" Capital Property Investors Association.

    You have to keep a long view on these things and it is not fun to watch!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    5,086

    Default

    I trust John May will immediately resign, given that he has no confidence in another board member, but the membership has voted that other person back on to the board.

    cube
    DFTBA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    795

    Default

    No Worries!

    I am sure Barry Bridgman (Propoholic), Myself, and Tony Steindle as new Board members will help bring some fresh order to the APIA and get on with the business for the benefits of the members.

    In my personal opinion the APIA's overall performance has done very well over the past 2 years.

    It's just sad that in the politics of elections the standing board members split camps and ended up with the resultant emails above being sent.

    I hope that the re-elected board members do act and vote independently on matters for the benefit of the Association and do not simply block-vote progress for the sake of team survival.

    Cheers Ron
    Last edited by RonHoyFong; 15-08-2007 at 10:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    110

    Default

    Hi Cube

    John May is actually a very good, determined person who is passionate about APIA. We have certainly had a difference in opinion and it is a shame that events led to this becoming so public.

    However I have worked with John in a positive and constructive manner in the past and I think we can in the future.

    I don't think John needs any pressure right now.

    MJU, you are so right. Most volunteers in these organisations are extremely passionate but that can lead to as many problems as it does solutions. It is difficult to manage a group of independent free thinkers and sometimes it takes independent third parties to sort through some issues.

    Wish us luck.
    Andrew King,
    Too many tenants in your property? Hire a sleepout and increase the rent
    Andrew King Property Management Services - NZ Property Investors' Federation


 

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