Grey Power NZ banishes Male

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Grey Power’s national federation has given the strongest possible sanction to former Nelson president Neville Male, issuing him with a legal notice to stop using its name or logo.

Neville has protested the involvement of the national federation in the affairs of the local organisation but national president Terry King says the national board was asked to get involved and as the governing body it has every right to do so.

He says the management committee, led by Kevin Gardener, is the local authority and that Neville is way out of line by still claiming to be president of the group.

The stance of the national body seems to give local Grey Power members some surety around which faction has control of the group, but the problems appear to be far from over.

Last week two of the organisation’s computers were stolen from its Stoke office. Police are investigating the theft.

That comes less than a week after supporters of Neville Male tried to force their way into the Grey Power office. Police were called but the office is open again under the control of the management committee.

National president Terry King spoke to Nelson Weekly and said “enough is enough”.

He says the federation board “upholds the action of the Grey Power Nelson Management Committee, chaired by Mr [Kevin] Gardener”.

He said the annual general meeting called by the management committee on April 1 is the place where the membership decide who should lead the organisation in the future. Not the “special general meeting” called by Neville this Friday. “In calling another ‘Special General Meeting’ Mr Male is being very unhelpful,” says Terry.

The comments follow a national board meeting last week to discuss the issues with Nelson Grey Power and Terry says it was decided to send the strongest possible message that Neville Male no longer has any association with Grey Power.

A letter from solicitors Bell Gully was then sent to Neville telling him to “cease and desist from claiming any affiliation to Grey Power, using the Grey Power name or its intellectual property”.

Neville wrote to Nelson Weekly last week to say the decision from Grey Power’s national federation shouldn’t be accepted.

“The involvement of the NZ Grey Power Federation is totally without authority. The President of the Federation, Mr Terry King, advised me on 26 January, 2015, that federation policy is not to get involved in local matters as ‘they must be handled locally’.”

Terry says Neville has got the wrong end of the stick.

“The board’s position in relation to any issue within the 70 Grey Power Associations around the country, is that it will not initiate a response to an issue but prefers to see local issues dealt with locally. [But] an official request for assistance was received from the Nelson committee so we got involved and quite rightly so.”

Acting president of Grey Power Nelson, Kevin Gardener, didn’t want to comment to the Weekly but did say the AGM on April 1 will be the place where members can have their say and urged members to ignore any other meeting.