Hey, Callaghan Innovation – what are you thinking?
A guest blog written by my husband, Peter Hall
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been supporting Debra in her campaign to get Callaghan Innovation to act to make things right, as the reports from the due diligence process they undertook on Manaaki / We Are Indigo are increasingly used as a weapon to destroy those businesses, and the livelihoods and reputations of the people involved.
Today I am focusing on the supposed contents of the Due Diligence reports, which late last week were spread even further and more deliberately, from an anonymous gmail address, targeting the networks of the people they are setting out to destroy.
What are the motivations here? Who stands to gain? Is this really about the alleged victims, or is it “just” a Callaghan vendetta (which is how it looks), or maybe there’s a competitor to Manaaki lurking in the wings, pulling the strings?
I say “supposed” contents of the reports deliberately, because I have no way of knowing whether these reports – attached to that anonymous gmail address, and very heavily redacted – are the real deal. They are on the IsaCorp letterhead (the company of the conflicted investigator, John Borland). Perhaps Callaghan could confirm that what I have read is correct? The email, ironically, says that the attachments are “Not for public distribution in any way, shape or form”.
Despite this further breach of confidentiality, further illegal sharing of reports which Callaghan itself even refused to release under an OIA request, the Callaghan Innovation Board continues to sit on the sidelines while the battle to destroy Manaaki and its founders intensifies.
And so to the widely shared, heavily redacted summary reports.
My reaction on first reading – this is truly incredible. Is this a matter for the Serious Fraud Squad? These are exceptionally strong allegations, and there are so many of them that appear to be serious.
I then went to have a coffee. And read the reports again, reflected and made these observations.
- These allegations just do not sit comfortably with me and my knowledge, in particular, of Andy Hamilton – having had a professional association with him for the past 15 years. This is not the Andy that I know.
- If we focus on the serious allegations made, there is a remarkable similarity across several of the referee statements. I suspect far too much to be coincidence. Nagging at the back of my mind are statements from EY, in their review of the process, that the number of referees was increased during the investigation process. Did the referees collude? Has the evidence been exaggerated, and possibly even made up?
Let me look at one of the allegations.
Allegation: Attempted misappropriation of government funds. Multiple witnesses have provided evidence which has alleged the respondent received capital as part of a Government organisation for payment to contractors attempting to initially retain the funds which dishonestly obtained a benefit or advantage.
Was this in any way related to the delayed payment of an invoice to K&J Growth? The redactions in reports make it impossible to tell for sure. But as an experienced business person, I do know that invoice payments are quite often delayed, sometimes pending delivery of what was agreed or poor quality work. One might assume this is even more likely when government funding is being deployed. What I do know is that in this instance the invoice was paid, albeit belatedly. However, it is a massive leap to extend an invoice dispute to “Attempted misappropriation of Government funds”.
A number of other allegations have a similar approach. Emotive, subjective – calculated to outrage and to injure. How many of the other allegations would withstand the light being shone on them? Perhaps none of them?
We Are Indigo has not seen the full reports. They have only seen the redacted versions that I have now seen. As such they have been denied the opportunity to fully respond. What comment they have made in response has not been incorporated in the reports in any way. Natural justice has not happened.
The reports were prepared by a conflicted investigator, who had previously worked on behalf of one of the supposedly wronged parties. He did not declare his prior knowledge.
EY were engaged to review the due diligence process, but the scope was set to exclude conflicts of interest and report content. They did NOT, as some are claiming, “independently validate and verify” the findings or conclusions of the report. Another example of people stretching the truth, to support their case.
And the redacted summary reports are being ever more widely spread.
Ray Avery says, in a recent social media post under the heading “We Are Indigo it’s going to go Nuclear”, that “The full contents of the report are “headshakingly unbelievable”. Fair comment, and I actually agree. And this should raise a red flag for us all – maybe they seem “unbelievable” because that’s what they actually are. Unbelievable.
There are so many question marks over these reports and their conclusions. Are they fair and accurate? Sometimes when something seems so unbelievable, it’s because it is not true.
I can only echo Debra’s statements from her last blog HERE, and add some of my own.
Callaghan – You are the only ones who can fix this.
Admit that the investigator was conflicted.
Admit that a person who had no direct dealings with Indigo or Manaaki inserted himself into the due diligence process, and was subsequently identified in the EY report as someone who should not have been interviewed.
State unequivocally that the due diligence reports, commissioned under the confidentiality of a government procurement process, should never have been shared around other organisations by your then CEO.
Make it clear that you are upset and angry (are you?) at the way the reports continue to be leaked to an ever widening group, in a clear attempt to gather what can only be described as a lynch mob.
Clarify that the EY review was not a review of due diligence findings or of the conflicts of interest – but simply a review of the mechanics of the investigative process.
Officially withdraw the due diligence reports.
Meet with Indigo / Manaaki in good faith, and actually try to find a path to resolution.
Make a clear statement, that on reviewing the reports, you find that many of the allegations cannot be substantiated based on the evidence provided. (More urgent work for you. Maybe a new enquiry with reputable investigators?).
And above all, tell us whether you really want these documents to be used to drive Manaaki and Indigo out of business, and to destroy the reputations of its founders. Because if that is what you actually want, you’re doing a great job of achieving your goals.
So tell us, Callaghan Innovation – your Board and your Executive, what are you REALLY thinking?
And what are you going to DO about all of this?
3 thoughts on “#StandWithManaaki – Time to Man-Up, Callaghan!”
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