Statement on the Aupouri Trust Board Financial Issues
28th August 2015
Te Runanga a Iwi o Te Aupouri Statement on the Aupouri Trust Board Financial Issues
Rick Witana the Chair of Te Runanga Nui o Te Aupouri, the entity set up to receive the Aupouri Treaty Settlement in coming months, welcomes the Minister of Maori Affairs appointment of a statutory manager and investigation into the financial activities of the Aupouri Maori Trust Board.
“The issues at the Trust Board are a very unfortunate and concerning set of circumstances. It is essential that a full financial audit is conducted to get to the bottom of these matters,” says Mr Witana.
The Aupouri Runanga will take over control of all Aupouri assets and responsibilities from the Aupouri Maori Trust Board 60 working days after the final reading of the Te Hiku Settlement Bill which will occur on the 9th of September.
“We need to know how these events will impact on our iwi heading forward into the future after settlement. The Runanga will inherit the legacy of the Trust Board, so the existing Trust Board’s financial position has to be reconciled to ensure the best possible platform is available for the Runanga to use.”
“Until settlement occurs we don’t have the statutory ability to step in and investigate or contribute to the issues at the Trust Board. So in many ways we’ve been hamstrung in terms of our ability to respond.
However we have been in close dialogue with the Board as this problem has unfolded and we have been providing whatever assistance our Trust Deed has allowed at this time.” “With the Minister stepping in to appoint a statutory manager there is hopefully more scope for us to work closely with him to fully understand the problems and find solutions.”
“Businesses rise and fall all the time, however we have to understand our position prior to settlement, and as a priority there needs to be a consolidation of the existing Trust Board business so that as an iwi and Runanga we can begin the new post settlement phase for Aupouri with a clean slate. It is time to put the old net away as the saying goes, ‘ka pu te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi.- When the old net is worn out, the new net goes fishing.’”