Had the printer been in the library prior to the fire, as part of the ignition device suggested by Mr Jorgensen then it should have been located in the debris close to, or on, the floor. The amount of debris seen below it suggests it was very high up in the building prior to the fire or as is more likely, had been moved to this location during the investigation.

NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, (Chapter 17 Para 1) states:-
‘The origin of a fire is one of the most important hypotheses that an investigator develops and tests during the investigation. Generally, if the origin cannot be determined, the cause cannot be determined, and generally, if the correct origin is not identified, the subsequent cause determination will also be incorrect. The purpose of determining the origin of the fire is to identify in three dimensions the location at which the fire began.’


There was a great deal of evidence to show that intruders broke into the property, on the 9 September 2011.

D S Sam Bindon took these images on 10 September showing that a ‘Forced Entry’ had occurred at the property.

The intruders smashed windows using rocks from the garden, including the balcony balustrades, as seen on images by D S Bindon taken early on the 10 September. 
Mr Joseph confirmed this in his Fire Report dated 4 October, para 5.6.3
‘All balustrades had been broken with the majority of the glass on the balcony itself.’

In his Pre Trial testimony, when asked if the Rocks broke the glass he stated, ‘
’So the fact that the glass is broken inwards, to me would suggest, that, it is more likely it was broken by a rock.’


Large sections of the glass are seen well onto the balcony due to the impact, this is in line with what Newton’s Law of Conservation of Momentum would predict.

The rocks lost momentum hitting the glass and the lost momentum transferred to the glass, firing sections of it further onto the balcony. Any fire induced damage would have ejected the glass off the balcony.

The site had been manned at all times since the Fire Service arrived close to midnight on the 9/10 September until several hours after this image was taken at 11:05 am on 10 September 2011.

There can be no question here, the rocks and the broken glass were on the balcony immediately after the fire.

Mr Joseph never argued that the rocks broke the glass after the fire, probably since doing so would have required evidence from FSO Craig Bain who had told us that the fire had been caused by Vandals, that the fire service had short of water, showing that none was wasted on the balcony and that the fire scene had been attended throughout the night. These statements would have been easily accepted by the Judge and would have devastated Mr Joseph’s position.

Mr Joseph took an extensive series of images of the rocks on the balcony. Note that all these images clearly show that the rocks are on top of the glass and the glass is all on top of the fire debris. It is stratified, the debris layers arrived first, then the glass smashed by the rocks, all on top of the debris.

This first images taken by Mr Joseph show the three rocks on the balcony, the ringed one on the left is the dark object viewed under the surviving lower rail of the balustrade on the balcony image taken by D S Bindon on 10 September.

Mr Joseph returned the next day to this area and took 6 more images of the rocks and glass on the balcony in detail. He obviously had grasped the significance of this evidence.

The right-hand rock, shown above, is quite small and is located on the location where the debris is at its deepest. It is clear the rock is not sitting on the floor of the balcony surrounded by debris, including dry fibreglass insulation, it is very clearly on top of the debris not ‘among’ it. Note the cubic bits of the toughened, 5mm thick, balcony glass, all on top of the debris this far onto the balcony.

Note here that these images clearly show a piece of the fire debris, probably a curved alloy window ‘Z’ section, that bends underneath the rock, there can be no question, the rocks and the cubic bits of toughened 5mm thick glass are on top of the debris. There is no debris to be seen anywhere on the balcony that is on top of any of the glass or the rocks.

These images show that the intruders were at the fire scene in the early stages of the fire, the rocks that broke the glass with all of the glass ended on top of the debris. The balcony glass smashed by the rocks has ended up all over the balcony with large sections of it visible here over 1m in from the original balustrades due to the impact of the rocks. This clearly occurred after the fire debris was ejected from the windows, after the ceiling failed and fell on top of the debris and before the Fire Service arrived.

Mr Joseph in his Fire Report dated 4 October 2011, paras 7.12 and 7.20 agrees the building was penetrated and attacked. The comments on it being a ‘staged fire’ are dealt with later in this report.

The evidence of the existence of intruders is irrefutable, they forced entry into the property at some time on the 9 September 2011. With 90% of the property entirely destroyed and the rest seriously damaged it is impossible to know what items they removed prior to starting the fire shortly before midnight.

Mr Joseph’s comment above, that no property was taken, is based on him finding the remains of two old PC’s and a 40’ flat TV in the debris. The house contained large volumes of expensive artwork, first edition books, silver and fine china, all far easier to remove and sell than old PC’s and a TV set that was bolted to the wall. No remains of any of these items were found in the debris.

He did not mention in his reports that he found several empty jewellery boxes but he had photographed them on the remains of the bed in the master bedroom. It is unclear if he moved them there to photograph or if they were found in that location. The missing jewellery items have never been found.

Mr Joseph did mention finding ‘4 photographs of the insureds family’ in para 5.6.15 expanded to ‘in the base of a cabinet’ in para 7.6 of his report.

These photographs, prior to the fire, stood in the top of the cabinet mounted in Victorian Sterling Silver frames, if you view the image above carefully you can see the evidence of them being framed along the edges of the photos. The frames were not found in the debris or since.

Clearly, some valuable items, jewellery and silver had been removed from the property.

This was a massive total burn fire that consumed the house in a very short time, the neighbours reported hearing a series of load bangs like a large fireworks display, flashover? They investigated and saw Killara on fire at around 11:48 when they took the image below.

They called the Fire Service and took a series of images at that time, only one was ever disclosed after repeated requests. This image was taken from a point between trees, both ends of the property, which is assumed was also fully alight has been blocked from sight by the trees.

By the time the Fire Service arrived 18 minutes later the whole house was virtually consumed and all they could do was contain the situation.

The idea that a fire of this magnitude could have been staged, over 15 hours prior to the fire, is unsupportable. There is no actual evidence to support this idea.

Nobody could have predicted which parts of the property would be destroyed by the fire and which parts would remain in which to leave the ‘staged’ evidence. Wind direction, rain or just the way flash overs occurred would have left many possible outcomes. It is generally accepted that large fires are highly unpredictable so how could the evidence found in the scene be staged in advance?

Mr Joseph did not check with the family as to why certain items of furniture or cupboards were empty and did not consider that the property had been set up as a 5 star luxury lodge with guest accommodation letting at up to $595 per night. Naturally that required empty storage cupboards and drawers in some of the rooms. The family often used the suites during out of season periods but limited the use of the storage to a minimum.

The property was very large, around 500 square metres with massive amounts of storage, walk in wardrobes and the like. The family did not keep old clothes just to fill the storage and many cupboards were empty or nearly so, there was nothing suspicious in this it was just a reflection of the determination of Mr Joseph to implicate me.

It has never been disputed that at the time of the fire we were in Hamilton about 400Km away. Maurice Fletcher and the NZ Police investigated the possibility that they had funded accomplices to cause the fire but found no evidence to support that suggestion.

The lengths IAG’s investigators wen to in their attempts to DISCREDIT the evidence of the investigators is quite incredible.

Read about Chris Hlavac on the NEXT page or get the latest on the BLOG!


  1. Stuart Broad says:

    I’m Stuart Broad, I don’t play cricket! I’m a M.Sc Student at the department of Department of Security and Crime Science, UCL.

    Together with 2 other students we have been using the information you have posted on this website as a case study to use as thesis material, thank you for the depth of information and the access you have given to the original data, in particular the photographs and reports of the investigators that conducted the crime scene investigation.

    We realise that Kerikeri is a tiny township in a remote location and it would not support a CSI unit but we find it very odd that the Police apparently handed the investigation over to a firm, Corporate Risks to investigate, particularly when they seem to represent the insurer IAG who had a vested interest in the result of the investigation.

    We found your recent report on the Intruders causing the fire extremely useful, whilst there is little doubt that the intruders did cause the fire there is one aspect of the investigation that we feel you have understated. I refer to the claim by the investigator Mr Joseph that you staged the fire scene, in particular the rocks on the bedroom balcony.

    Proper analysis of the staging claim runs through several stages, first how could it have been achieved, was that feasible compared to the risks involved and was the final evidence in line with that analysis?

    Firstly, how could it have been achieved?
    You left the property over 12 hours prior to the fire so for you to have broken the balcony glass with rocks, the actions causing the break would have to have been undertaken before you left.
    The rocks by some means would have to have broken the glass by impact from the outside to spread the glass on the balcony not on the ground below.
    The glass was toughened and appears to be 5mm thick, a considerably forceful strike would have been required.
    It is difficult to see how this could have been achieved whilst standing on the balcony striking the glass from the outside, you would have been in the line of ‘fire’ with risk of being hit by the rock and fragments of the glass so we believe this method can be discounted.
    The rocks therefore must have been thrown from the ground, our estimate is that the balcony floor is some 2.5m above the ground and the largest rock arrears to be about 30cm long, triangular in section and weighing in the order of 5-7Kg.
    Whilst it would not be impossible for a seriously ill, 60 year old man, to throw this rock from some range away from the balcony, there was no guarantee of a clean break, first throw so there was a danger of rebound requiring a safe distance, it would have required a massive effort.
    It is unlikely that you could have thrown that rock over 2.5m upwards from range with enough force to break the glass.

    Secondly was that feasible compared to the risks involved?
    The major problem to the investigators arguments as to water shifting the debris is feasibility.
    If this had not occurred, the rocks and the glass would all have been under the fire debris had the breaks been staged up by you, prior to the fire, if this had been the final position it would have supported the claim the the scene was staged but not conclusively since the intruders could have committed these action prior to ignition.
    It would have required incredible foresight for you to predict the debris being ejected through the window/door and then the fire service would use hoses that lifted the rocks and glass on top of the debris, it is not feasible that you could have known this would occur and therefore it can be discounted that the rocks and glass were staged.
    The risk of disclosure of staging would have been extremely high had the rocks been on the balcony prior to the fire.

    Finally, was the final evidence in line with that analysis?
    Not only is the evidence of the rocks on top of the glass on top of the various strata of debris easily seen on the images there is actually no indication of the use by the fire service of water on the balcony at all. The debris material all looks dry, there is no slurry, no wash off and no disturbance of the debris strata.
    The images show glass fragments on top of debris over around 85% of the balcony area, careful study of all the images has failed to locate any instances where debris is on top of the glass.
    There is no doubt that the rocks are seen on top of the debris and glass, consistent with the glass being broken by the rocks after the debris had arrived on the balcony and prior to the arrival of the fire service.

    There is no possible explanation of the rocks and glass being found on top of the various strata of balcony debris except them being caused by the intruders after the ignition of the fire.
    There is no possible method or opportunity for you to have broken the glass and positioned the rocks on top of the balcony debris from 400Km away without control of the intruders, an option that was apparently investigated by the New Zealand Police and discounted.
    With intruders at the fire scene, your remote location supplied you with a totally reliable alibi.
    All the actions by the insurance company IAG that caused you to be wrongfully arrested for Arson are deplorable and should be subject to criminal investigation based on the way the evidence of the balcony rocks and glass alone were dealt with.

    Thank you once again for publishing the details, we trust our analysis proves to be of assistance, we intend to make further postings as we complete analysis of other instances of your incredibly unbelievable position.

  2. Adele Bellavich says:

    Surely the New Zealand Police must investigate this and act, a clear case of an insurance company going too far, they should all be jailed and fined massively. The Police are involved but somebody must see the damage this sort of thing does to the forces reputation. I recommend you make further complaints to the Police Authority.

    I wish you well, keep on with spilling the beans, the more beans the more sauce to cook them in.


  3. Rebecca says:


    Your story is a too familiar one, I congratulate you on the collection and analysis of the evidence, it makes compelling reading and raises several issues of interest.

    IAG probably would like to remove the irritation that you cause but they would face serious issues, the actions they have taken are, as you have shown very comprehensively, criminal. This is disgusting but you may have backed yourself into a legal cul-de-sac. Whilst in a normal dispute both sides can reach agreements that allow the whole event to be, effectively archived, killing any future litigation or publicity this is not possible in your position. It is unlawful to agree to not report criminal actions in return for payment and as you will be fully aware of, illegal to threaten to report those actions if you are not paid.

    Your conviction appears to be part of the campaign against you by IAG and many people will discount it but it probably blocks litigation funders in Australia and New Zealand from taking on your case, it could be of interest to them however. You accepted a strange offer from IAG, confusing but it shows a realistic aim from you whilst the claim in the Courts based on IAG’s repudiation and other actions would be far in excess of that figure. I believe a case could be presented as a modification of the 2013 case which has not been concluded as far as I can see, you would need to be informed, you state you have heard nothing. I understand the email used for service of documents still reaches you so that would appear to confirm my opinion.

    Worth considering in my opinion.


  4. Claudia Nowinski says:

    This sucks, everybody knows if there is a break in at a fire scene before the fire they lit the fire – no way can you stage the scene as this goon says.
    Just an excuse to mess you about and they sure did.

    Loads of people are reading this now so Insurance company will have to sort it with you pronto or their cheating actions will swallow them all up and the masses will spit them out.

  5. Chris Maloney says:

    The delay,deny and defend unconscionable conduct with Australian insurers operating in NZ is evident. We were victims of the earthquake disaster 2011 we have just managed to settle one claim after waiting 6 years. We received two low ball offers to repair my daughters home. Finally settled on the third offer with the help of a solicitor.
    Our family primary rebuild claim is not settled and we are still waiting and will be proceeding to the High Court in NZ to claim for our true entitlements. We are migrants to NZ and were an sold an illusion “Pure NZ” couldn’t be further from the truth and is a myth
    The lies, deceit and bullying that has gone on in Christchurch is unimaginable. I am reasonable tolerant man but I am now at critical mass with these buffoons working for these Australian insurance corporations in NZ If you wish to be severely swindled migrate to NZ. The tall poppy syndrome and perverse culture that goes on here is unbelievable and I so wish I had completed my due diligence before migrating.
    When my debacle is over I will leave this country never to return and never take out an insurance policy with any Australian Insurance corporation

  6. Hi

    I’m a mediator based in California.
    I’m willing to assist you if you are looking to solve this issue with IAG.

    Just what level of settlement are you looking for, I see the house had a valuation of around NZ$3,000,000 plus all the extras, contents etc and it was a long time ago so I guess the claim will have a lot of interest.
    Do you have a figure in mind? Remember to make a deal work it has to be attractive to both parties, IAG seem to be ignoring you and your publicity campaign must be annoying them at the very least so they may be ready to just kill the current position if you do not make it too painful for them.


    • cjrob224 says:


      You have given us a few things to consider, yes, the lawyers suggest massive figures but I accept your comment that the deal must be attractive to both sides. We just want to be able to resume a life, we did nothing to deserve this treatment and I guess IAG would like to brush us under the carpet, they have really made a mess of handling our claim.

      In 2012, Andrew Hooker filed a case in the High Court, it was based on a rebuild cost of $2.2M, too low really but for now fine, $100,000 contents, $43,000 cars and $20,000 accom allowance + interest.
      I guess that would be a basis for beginning to talk, we would accept that now with no damages, deductions or other items either way. It would be very easy for IAG to accept it since they got $1.72M from their reinsurance for our fire.
      We would also agree it was a full and final settlement, killing this blog etc which is causing the publicity.

      I’m not sure how you would be involved, nor how much you charge to mediate in a case like this, can you do it from California. How does that sound, is it realistic?

      Chris R

  7. Alexis Hall says:

    Fascinating site, I work in Zurich, an international Insurance adviser to large multinational companies mainly. Currently I’m looking at the New Zealand economic position for a client and I came across your site on Google.

    You are being given the Delay, Deny, Defend treatment in spades, I didn’t realise this sort of thing still went on, massive damages in the USA and Europe deter insurers from this behaviour now and policyholders get a far better deal. I feel that I may be able to offer you some assistance, Pro Bono, so no cost or risk to you.

    The insurance company will not talk to you, they employ lawyers to isolate themselves from this behaviour. The lawyers will have no morals, they are just paid on the value of the cases they block and do it without involving the insurance company itself in any important decisions. It is useless trying to argue with them, they will just revert to the Courts and out gun you endlessly and for years and years if they get the chance.
    This seems to be the position you are currently at, it will seem like a lost cause but the website shows you are behaving in a very logical manner, still angry and want to get the payment you deserve from your insurance policies. It is abundantly clear that you were not involved with setting the fire here, they have no evidence against you and their attempts to falsify the evidence failed to get you convicted so now they have retreated into a no contact shell attempting to leave you with the only options of going through the Courts or doing nothing. There is however a third, simple option.

    You have to get to the Company itself, they are a listed company which will have a publicly visible Board of Directors, mostly notable people of reputation that serve as Non Executive directors to make the company look more respectable and trustworthy to the shareholders and more importantly prospective shareholders. They get remuneration but many of them will not be interested in any actual decision making, literally non executive! However, since the Exxon issues, non executive directors have been placed in a different and onerous position in respect of responsibility due to the actions by the companies they serve which are illegal, fraudulent or dangerous to the public.

    I suggest you write a brief summary of the case and the way you have been treated, send it to all Board Members and then ask the individual directors to reply to you stating if they condone the behaviour of the company and that you will take a no response to the request as a positive reply. You can then publish the letter and the replies, if any, on this website so that the shareholders can see that the Board of Directors support the company in taking actions of this sort and they are therefore done with full Board approval. That approach has worked well in Europe and I can see no reason it would not do so in the same manner in New Zealand. There is no threat in these actions you are merely asking if the actions taken by the company are done with full Board approval.

    I trust this helps, I have also emailed you so that you can reply directly to me with any questions, your position is the most extreme I have encountered and I am happy to assist you.


    • Manny Godfrey says:

      They right! One cheating company, State Farm here in the US got really hammered by damages and loads more were slammed – tons better now.
      Go for it boy, you have been really f**ked by these guys, what they say here is sweet man.

  8. Mike Cummins says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your horrible times in New Zealand, the more I read the more life here makes sense! It is all a big cover up, they will not accept any criticism, they do not look outside the country fr anything. Been in Auckland for almost a year, we all hate it! Apart from the weather it is all S**t, the people are so competitive, they cannot drive never looking further than a few metres in front of their car, hostile and often stoned out of their heads! TV full of rugby and news to show NZ is great but no real international interest, it is like living on Mars! Mind you the Martians would probably not be addicted to Rugby!

    We struggled to get insurance, finally insured everything with State but going to change that now after this read and we plan to work to get out of NZ as fast as possible, your story confirmed the decision and I know several others whom I have spoken to about it and they are all looking to leave now.

    Good luck and thank you once more!

  9. I have studied the information on this website with great diligence, it is a well constructed report of a gross miscarriage of justice. The evidence supplied is self supporting, basically being the photographic record of the investigation and the somewhat contradictory testimony given, under oath, by the same investigators that took the images.

    The insurance company IAG has clearly and very methodically, constructed a case against it’s policy holder, Mr Robinson, to avoid meeting their legal responsibilities under the policies the policy holder took out in good faith.

    It is shocking and highly disturbing that the New Zealand Police and the legal system seem to accept anything the insurer states without question whilst the policy holder was falsely charged with arson to allow the insurer IAG to continue to repudiate the claim. It is also apparent that the New Zealand Police officer in charge of the case, DC Dawson, was controlled by the insurance company and acted at all times in their interest.

    That these events happened in New Zealand, a highly regarded country with pretensions of being a leading world nation rather than a third world nation such as Nigeria or Libya is quite extraordinary.

    In the circumstances, the website, probably represents the best approach to resolving the issue. It is a permanent record of the actions of the insurer that over the years, by revealing their illegal actions, will create an ever increasing issue for the insurer. The inevitable loss of public confidence on which insurance companies depend to maintain their revenue levels will cause IAG significant issues and difficulty in maintaining their market share. To this end, I am forwarding the details of the website to all company representatives who, I am sure will be as appalled as I am by the events that have happened here and they will also increase the publicity about them.

    I trust that you, the Robinson’s are recovering well from your ordeal in New Zealand, I hope my actions assist you, I am sorry that I can not take more direct action but we have no presence in Australasia.

    Alonso Martínez

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