Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


An unfortunate discovery

An unfortunate discovery

Wellington Anglicans are dealing with the news that their quick response to a plea for urgent medical help has left them as victims of another Nigerian-type email scam.

Around $14,000 is involved – a sum that was raised in an emergency appeal for money that would (or so donors were told) allow a Tanzanian bishop’s wife to have life-saving heart surgery in South Africa.

It now seems certain that the appeal was a hoax.

The scam was uncovered a few days ago by a Wellington church group during a visit to Tanzania: on asking the Bishop’s wife how she was recovering after her heart surgery, they discovered she’d never been ill, hadn’t had an operation – and had no knowledge of the spurious appeal made in her name.

Anonymous supporters of the diocese have taken it upon themselves to reimburse the money that donors have given to this cause.

The background to the scam is as follows: Some years ago, the Diocese of Wellington adopted the Diocese of Kagera, in Tanzania, as a companion diocese. Anglicans in the Wellington Diocese have supported other projects in the Diocese of Kagera without problems.

In the course of the development of the relationship between the two dioceses, Wellington’s Bishop, Dr Tom Brown, has met his opposite number, Bishop Aaron Kijanjali on several occasions. They’d developed a friendship.

It appears that the fraudster, masquerading as Bishop Aaron, sent a series of emails direct to Bishop Tom, pleading for urgent medical help for his wife.

Bishop Brown is on sabbatical overseas, so the exact details of how the scam unfolded are not yet clear.

But it appears that the fraudster took extra care to make sure there was no phone communication between the two men. Phone connections between rural Africa and New Zealand are difficult at the best of times, and apparently Bishop Tom was told in an email that the Tanzanian bishop and his wife were in transit to a South African hospital and therefore, out of reach by phone.

An investigation is taking place into the documents and the financial transactions, to uncover as far as possible what happened, and to provide lessons for the future.

Nonetheless, the two Archdeacons in charge of the Diocese until Bishop Tom returns say they’re confident Wellington’s Anglican donors will be temperate in their response to the news.

“We were the victims of a scam,” Archdeacons Pat Muxlow and Lyall Perris informed churchgoers in an email, “but the needs of our brothers and sisters in Kagera have not changed.”

“Let us continue to be known as people of compassion and generosity.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election