Can litigation be used to gag New Zealand franchisees?

I dislike when anyone tries to decrease freedom of speech, especially on the internet.

Maybe it’s because I was sued [1, 2, 3 & 4] about this very issue, that I am fairly touchy about the subject.

Right and wrong has nothing to do with it. It’s the Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

Since Australia and New Zealand are in the franchise regulation news lately, here are three August 2001 articles from Jon Stephenson of The Independent that illustrate how little distinction some franchisors make between fundamental human rights freedoms and their ability to control their message.

You may note that it was only after the original court decision was reversed that the 13 Wordsites International franchisees regained their ability to defend themselves.

I have seen the names Worldsites International Network and WSI applied to the same Canadian-based system. Based on their membership information at the Canadian Franchise Association, WSI has been a CFA member since 2007, has over 1,500 franchises and has been franchising since 1996. I recall that Dan Monaghan and Nigel Mayne co-founded WSI.

WSI and Mr. Monaghan are involved with Make Child Poverty History.

Nigel Mayne is listed by the CFA as president of MatchPoint which claims to be “Canada’s largest Franchise broker.” (In business since 2006, CFA member since 2007).

  • Constitutional rights can be taken away and you have to fight to have them restored. Better have US$20,000 buried in the back yard if you want to live to fight another day.

BTW, whenever you see the following it should be a very red flag for you:

  • this franchise is the next “McDonald’s of dog poop business” for example, and
  • franchisor registered in Bahamas with disputes heard in Delaware, U.S.A.

I wonder what happened to the unlucky 13?

These articles brought to you by the fine people at the Informaton Sharing Project.

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3 Responses to Can litigation be used to gag New Zealand franchisees?

  1. Dean Fraser says:

    Hi Les

    I was one of the unlucky 13 – but we in fact were lucky – we got an ‘out of court settlement’.

    I am unable to say anything more otherwise I would be in breach of a court order …..

    Like

  2. Les Stewart says:

    Dean,

    Nudge, nudge wink wink

    Say no more

    Les

    Like

  3. Ray Borradale says:

    In my recent submissions to SA & WA I make the point that if the threat of non-renewal and termination and all the misery and costs that come from debt laden scams with homes [and a life’s effort] as guarantee then you have dealt with most of the scams.

    Everyone seems to understand that behind every gag order is something amiss – until they consider signing a bloody franchise agreement and brain function ceases.

    Typically behind franchise gag orders are;
    ‘… threats of non-renewal and termination and all the misery and costs that come from debt laden scams with homes [and a life’s effort] as guarantee …’

    Like

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