First the Justice Department banned The Scam
- Neil Foord's dangerously truthful novel.
Then the police seized Kidnap - another novel of favours and corruption.

Then they sent the author to jail using The Scam as 'evidence' of 'fact'. 

So Rod West, Labour Party Taupo branch secretary - and also owner of Bobby's Massage Parlour, Taupo, and proprietor of Argus Philippine Computer Introduction Services, which supplied 'sex workers' for the massage parlour - saved his overstayer ladyfriend from deportation. The officer in charge of this case, Peter McKennie of Porirua, arranged with the Immigration Service for her to receive permanent residence in NZ. This was the prime objective. McKennie himself received a promotion to sergeant. 

And West? He used to be called Rudolf Brouwer, until Rape Crisis in Palmerston challenged him over one of many reports. So he ran away and changed his name. He used to beat his wife. He attacked a bailiff with a sword and with powerful friends, guess what, had his name suppressed. Not a bad effort for a Labour Party official. 

And the attacks continue year after year. Mr Goff, it is time to correct this.

Welcome to Godzone, a country fit for heroes. 


Phil Goff MP
Minister of Justice 
Parliament House

April 2000

Immigration Scam and Labour Party coverup

Dear Mr Goff, 

I wish to bring to your attention again an example of  corruption, a  most blatant case by which Editha Barizo Mora, a Filipina overstayer, the de facto wife of Rod West, massage parlour proprietor and Labour Party Taupo Branch secretary, has  been able  to stay in New Zealand at my expense.  It has taken a long time against much obstruction to assemble all the evidence  but it is  now thoroughly documented, and needs resolution. 

Inspector Alan Aitken, Wellington CIB, has told me that Editha Mora aka Barizo, who complained in 1990 that I had  raped her, should be charged with perjury. He also told me that John Billington, nominally "defence" cousel, "rolled over" and did not defend me at all, for reasons that have not yet been made public. Note that the woman said subsequently that  I  was kind, that I did nothing to make her afraid, and most importantly that she consented. 

Peter Williams QC has offered to advise.  In a conference call with him and Wellington barrister Kenneth Bulmer recently, he said that this case is a clear injustice.  Many share this view, and many more will when the facts now available are better known. 

Mr Bulmer has the complete dossier: he has said that  the case is an outrage. The files include letters of support from  Civil Liberties, Amnesty International, Playwrights  Association etc. 

Paul Surridge, my first lawyer, and former Minister of Immigration Aussie Malcolm said at the outset, immediately after I was charged, that the complaint was a device to allow the woman to stay in NZ; so it has proved. 

A letter from PEN, as the Society of Authors was then, is enclosed: counsel John Billington concealed this  support from me and I only obtained the letter earlier this year,  years on. As things stand, the case represents a real  danger to other writers. 

A summary of legal points is enclosed, and an earlier memo about the use of my novel The Scam as the key "evidence". 

The case is too obvious a wrong. Every aspect of how it was put together is now thoroughly documented, recording  every untruth told by the criminals who organised it and those whose reputations depend on it remaining as it is, corrupt and unjust. 

It must be dealt with but the many obstructions have meant that it cannot be resolved without your help. 

You are welcome to speak to: 

Professor Richard Sutton, Law Commission 
Sir Kenneth Keith, Law Commission 
Jack Shallcrass, Civil Liberties 
Colin Chiles, Amnesty International 
Sara Whyatt, International PEN, London 
Sir Peter Tapsell, former Speaker of Parliament 

And most importantly, to Hamilton barrister Richard Barnsdale, who can be trusted. 

Yours most patiently, 

Neil Foord 

The order sent out by the Justice Dept banning The Scam four years before it was used to jail the author. It took two years to obtain an admission from Ministry of Justice staff that the order existed, and they refused repeatedly to say why it was issued. If you are a writer, you should be afraid.
Wellington barrister Kenneth Bulmer was warned by other more senior Wellington lawyers that helping with this case would harm his career. This proved correct - funds dried up as legal aid cases were withheld from him, and after battles with judges he gave up his practising certificate and his career.
Why writers should be afraid

The Scam as "evidence". 

 I wrote The Scam in 1980-83 and published it at the  end of 1986. Among other controversies at the time, in July 1987, the Justice Department bought 23 copies for prison libraries but  banned the book and recalled it before prisoners could see it.  A newspaper  article at the time said: "A Justice Department   spokesman was unable to comment yesterday".  From my experience in newspapers, this is the language of disapproval. The department  denied the ban but the documents, the original purchase order and the ban sent out to prisons, [see above] have been obtained, despite official obstruction during several years of inquiries. 

The Scam reappeared in 1991, used as "evidence" . 

A subplot of corruption in The Scam would explain  why the book was used in criminal proceedings. In one key scene, corrupt lawyer Russell Hayman has been given a lead to the  anti-hero of  the story by a police officer doing the lawyer an unofficial favour.  The lawyer meets the hero, Simon Hayes, at  lunch in the Wellington Club, and blackmails him into taking on a debt-collecting job on behalf of tycoon and wife-abuser Bretton Clifford by threatening to reveal knowledge of a private hit Hayes has done in Queenstown as the story opens. 

1.  When prosecutor John Upton and "defence"  counsel John     Billington were deciding how to conduct the trial,  they agreed on what would and would not be used as  evidence. The Scam was introduced as new evidence, of  which I was not aware, at the end of proceedings, with two scenes  in which women offer themselves to men for advantages marked for the jury's attention and a copy of the book given to them  to take out while they deliberated. This means Upton had     looked through the book for scenes that he could use to his advantage.  He would therefore have been aware of  this scene,  as would Billington. Billington made no objection  at the time to the use of The Scam as evidence, even though I  was not aware that it would be used, and he has since defended the prosecution's use of The Scam. 

 2.  From their point of view, The Scam has points to which they as  lawyers could be expected to object: 
 a.  The corrupt lawyer character, Russell Hayman; 
 b.  That Hayman has a bank account in a false name; 
 c.  That he is arranging for what may turn out to be a  killing; 
 d.  That Hayman has been given Hayes' name by another character, a    police officer who owes him a favour; 
 e.  That the scene is set in the Wellington Club, of which Billington is a member, as also are respectable  [males only allowed until very recently] members of Wellington's business and professional classes. 
 3.  Missed or neglected was a scene in which Hayman's client, the arrogant tycoon Clifford, forces himself on his long-suffering wife Sarah; as the story finishes she leaves him without provoking any hostilities.  Clifford meets his end,  as is right and proper, but not by her agency.  Her subplot is at once a cautionary tale and an example of how  to deal with a difficult situation without making things  worse than necessary. 
 4.  There are other scenes in which Hayman appears in a poor light; Upton and Billington could not have been  expected to do anything other than take exception to these scenes and to the story, bleak as it is, as a whole. 
 5.  Upton told the jury in closing that because I write fiction,  I could not be expected to tell the truth. 

At least one review of The Scam picks out the theme  that took most work of all, how abused wife Sarah gets out of her abusive marriage without starting a war, which she could have  done. 

Upton missed a less dramatic scene, which might have been too subtle for him to find on a superficial skim through the book looking for scenes to use as weapons, where Sarah's nasty  tycoon husband forces himself on her...  and she just waits, then gets away when she can and ignores all the foregoing.  This is a rape scene, and it was most important to the story. 

The manuscript of The Scam was read before publication by Tom Goddard, as he was before his appointment as a   judge, a lawyer 
 acknowledged as an expert in libel and employed by newspapers to vet potentially contentious articles before publication: he assured me there was no cause for concern.  The Scam was also was assessed from strict feminist and other women's viewpoints. Fool women are shown as fools, brute men are made plain.   Good examples are good irrespective of gender.  The police had seized [and kept for two years] more than 1000 pages of printouts from the house,  the first draft of another story still in  development. This new work is a kidnap story, with some scenes that are meant to be scary, worse than anything in The Scam, but as usual by suggestion rather than gory detail, crediting the reader with imagination and intelligence. I was certain and afraid 
 that some of these scenes would be used. 

Otago University Professor of Law Richard Sutton,  who is also a member of the Law Commission, says it was monstrous to use The Scam to jail me -- and the book was inadmissible. 

Former judge Michael Guest has said that the judge, the late John Rabone, should have stopped the trial when Upton introduced the book, even if defence counsel John Billington did not object.  I had warned Billington of common fallacies about writers, and insisted that expert evidence be called about the distinction  between fact and fiction, but he scorned this. So the jury was sent out with a copy of the book to read and the admonition to the effect that because I write fiction, they could not expect me to tell the truth. 

Worse, when then Pen NZ President Kevin Ireland queried Billington about the use of The Scam, he replied defending the prosecution's use of the book, and adding gratuitous comments. 

These two letters are on file; Billington's is a breach of the Law Practitioners' Act and forms part of an extensive complaint against him.  He withheld PEN's letter of support for more than three years. 

Sara Whyatt of International Pen's Writers in Prison Committee in   London suggested that I contact other writers' organisations on the use of The Scam as evidence, and has done so herself. PEN has lists of hundreds of cases of journalists and writers being punished, jailed, beaten, and killed. 

 None of my advisers or other contacts had heard of  books' being used in this manner, except against writers in countries as repressive as the former Soviet Union. 

This case leaves a dangerous precedent that can be used in the future in NZ and other countries with a similar legal  system. 

No writer can be defended against any accusation at all.  Any writer of any fiction [poet, lyricist, playwright, TV scriptwriter, film scriptwriter, etc] is vulnerable to a similar attack, all the more so because of this case. 

If any such writer in a Commonwealth country, where this case may be used as a precedent,  is so threatened, a file on this case and legal  advice on negating its effect are available by contacting: 




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