Manager admits defrauding Waitangi National Trust
A former employee of the organisation that looks after the Waitangi Treaty Grounds has pleaded guilty to charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
Wallace Tamamotu Te Ahuru (30) of Kerikeri pleaded guilty to two charges of ‘Obtaining by deception’ and seven charges of ‘Using forged documents’ at the Manukau District Court.
Mr Te Ahuru misappropriated about $1.2 million from the Waitangi National Trust Group while he was employed as its corporate services manager. In this role he was responsible for the financial administration of the trust. Mr Te Ahuru is believed to have acted alone in the offending.
The defendant used the money he stole for a variety of purposes, including travel and accommodation, luxury clothing, cosmetic surgery and the purchase of a vehicle.
Serious Fraud Office Director, Julie Read said, “Mr Te Ahuru deceived the custodian of one of the most historically significant places in New Zealand. His offending has caused reputational damage to the Waitangi National Trust which is the recipient of government grants and private donations.”
The defendant has been remanded in custody to reappear at
the Manukau District Court for sentencing on 30