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Commissioner Thanked For Pivotal Role

Commissioner Thanked For Pivotal Role

Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission Chairman Shane Jones said today he was disappointed that Commissioner Robert McLeod had tendered his resignation to the Minister of Maori Affairs this week.

Mr McLeod, who is also the chairman of Ernst & Young, used the opportunity of the release to litigant parties He Kawai Amokura as an appropriate juncture to address a perceived conflict of interest.

Ernst & Young act as auditors of key Commission subsidiaries. Mr McLeod has had no involvement in the audit practice of Ernst & Young. He was the managing partner of Andersen when he was appointed a Commissioner. On 1 April 2002, he was appointed chairman of Ernst & Young following the merger with Andersen.

During the merger with Ernst & Young, the possibility of a perceived conflict of interest was identified.

“I have found his leadership and his counsel invaluable. When the issue of a perceived conflict of interest arose I discussed it with all interested parties and then urged him to delay his resignation until we had completed the task of preparing the allocation model,’ Mr Jones said.

“We were not concerned with the perceived conflict of interest but it was an issue for Ernst & Young. We intend to continue to use Rob as an advisor for the foreseeable future. I know that Rob expressed regret in his letter of resignation and it is a regret that we share,” Mr Jones said.

“Rob played a pivotal role in the development of the model for allocation and has also done a tremendous service for all Maori in ensuring that the model is fair and Maori fishing companies are governed on sound commercial principles,” Mr Jones said.

“Rob said he had thoroughly enjoyed his experience in the role as Commissioner. It’s also very pleasing that he commended the Commission’s latest scheme for allocation to government as the best way forward for Maori.”

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