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Five members removed from trust

12 October 2004

Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust Board

Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust Deputy Chair Naida Glavish confirmed today that the Board has, following legal advice received from Chen Palmer & Partners, specialists in constitutional law, removed five of its members.

“The five trustees - Denis Hansen, Airini Tukerangi, Everdina Fuli, Peter DeHar and Ngaire Harris had, on the 23 - 26 July, sought to suspend the CEO and Chair, and made a number of serious and damaging accusations in the media.

“These included claims of unauthorised assets sales and raising loans without Board approval. They then spent the weekend at the Trust’s offices searching through Trust records,” said Ms Glavish.

The legal opinion received stated that the actions of the five trustees, prior to and including 23-26th of July 2004 in seeking to take over the management of the Board, were not authorised, because they did not comply with the Board's Constitution. Further, the opinion stated that none of the options available to lawfully raise concerns was used by the relevant people.

“The decision was very hard for the Board to make, but it had to be done for the sake of the Trust and the whanau,” said Ms Glavish. “We have met with our staff and kaumatua and explained the reasons for taking this action.”

The Board also commissioned an external audit from Deloittes to answer the serious allegations that had been made. The terms of reference were developed to ensure all required questions were asked and answered in an open and transparent manner.

“We have never had anything to hide,” said Ms Glavish, “and we are absolutely confident the audit will show the accusations made were totally without foundation.” The Board will review the audit findings at a special meeting tomorrow night, October 14th. “The Board remains committed to answering all allegations made against it and the CEO and other parties involved, and will do so publicly in a considered and duly authorised manner. There will be no further comment until then,” said Ms Glavish.


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