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Carpinter’s departure regretted

Carpinter’s departure regretted

“Paul Carpinter’s resignation from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust is regretted as he made a strong contribution and brought valuable assets to the job,” Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

“His departure will leave a big gap which I, as the Minister responsible for appointing the three Crown appointees, will seek to fill as a matter of priority.”

Mr Carpinter resigned at the end of August. Angela Foulkes, who was appointed in March for a six month term as an alternate Trustee to Mr Carpinter on issues related to the Central North Island forestry negotiations, has agreed to remain on until a permanent replacement is found. The two other Crown trustees are Gregory Fortuin and Maryann Street.

There are also three Maori trustees who are appointed by the New Zealand Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities. They are Sir Graham Latimer, Professor Whatarangi Winiata and Paul Morgan.

The Trust is an independent entity, established in 1990 to receive and invest the rentals from Crown forest land and to make the interest available to assist Maori in the preparation and negotiation of Treaty of Waitangi claims for those assets.

“Although the Crown has no power of direction over the Trust, I have sought recently from the Trustees an assurance that the Trust will put in place appropriate systems and procedures to ensure accountability around the disbursements made to claimants.

“I understand that the Trust has already taken a number of decisions to meet these concerns including; the establishment of a trustee charter, a clear allocation of the responsibility of individual trustees, improved policy around the audit committee and investment processes and continuing work to develop robust funding and contract models for the disbursement of funds.

“I am confident that further improvements will be made in response to the Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry scheduled for release by the end of next month,” Dr Cullen said.

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