Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sarah Taylor: Waikato charity's lifestyle spending


Spending by Waikato-Tainui's Ururangi charitable trust reinforces the perception that tribal trust money goes on cars and lifestyle for a favoured few and not on charity.The Ururangi Trust was set up in 2008 by Waikato-Tainui Kauhanganui Incorporated for a range of charitable purposes, mostly limited to purpose (b) as described in section 1.4 of the trust deed, to "carry out the duties and services which uphold and support the head of the Kaahui Ariki and which are for the benefit of Waikato Tainui." (1)

Shares in its sole trustee, Ururangi Limited, are owned by the iwi's governance entity Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated with the beneficiaries listed as “Waikato-Tainui beneficiaries, children/young people, older people”, and “general public”. (2)

The first trustees, according to records filed with the Companies Office, are listed as Atawhai Paki and Maharaia Paki, the wife and brother of the current Maori King Tuheitia Paki. (3)

The cost of that support has been $6.3-million in grants over the four years and eight months to March 31, 2013. (4)

Charities Office records show that during 2010 the trust employed three full-time staff and zero part-time staff, as well as four volunteers. Wages and salaries for the financial year ended March 31, 2010, totalled $447,428 plus an additional $165,487 expensed as "consultancy". (5)

An unidentified number of motor vehicles were purchased (probably two) for $177,000 and motor vehicle, travel and accommodation totalled over $145,000. For the three years to March 31, 2013, the trust received a further $3,837,745 in grants, spent $1,583,672 in wages, and $2,907,662 on "other expenses". (6)

At this time its statement of financial position revealed closing negative equity of minus $5837 and net current liabilities of $132,184 despite having sold one or more of its motor vehicles. (7)

Despite the fact that Ururangi Limited is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Waikato-Tainui Kauhanganui Incorporated, its accounts are not consolidated into the group accounts (Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust).

As Ururangi Trust is a separate legal entity, this effectively removes any further scrutiny of its expenses from the Waikato-Tainui Kauhanganui Incorporated financial statements. This legal structure allows Waikato-Tainui Kauhanganui Incorporated to hive off Ururangi’s spending, while declaring grants to Ururangi as “distributions” to beneficiaries labelled "Kiingitanga - Ururangi Trust", with no further mention of the trust's activities. (8)

Astonishingly, for an organisation that has received over $6-million in grants and over $58,000 from the government, the trust financial statements, labelled "special purpose financial statements" that were "intended for tax purposes only" were signed off by the trustees unaudited. (9)

What is even more astonishing is that both the Charities Commission, as well as the trustees chose to ignore the trust deed which stipulates that “the trustee shall keep true and fair accounts of all money received and expended and….cause the accounts of the trust for that financial year to be audited by an accountant…(which) audited accounts shall be made available to the public ". (10)

At some stage, it appears that the expenses being racked up by Ururangi employees came to the notice of the Waikato-Tainui executive.

The original trustees, the Pakis, resigned in September 2009 to be replaced by a succession of replacements: Taitimu Maipi, John Heremia, public broadcaster David Beatson, Gregory Miller, Craig Ellison and Susan Cullen (who resigned within three months of accepting the position). (11)

It was only after the appointment of Susan Cullen and Sir John Goulter (who is chairman of the commercial arm of Ngapuhi ) that the 2011 accounts were belatedly filed with the Charities Commission in August 2013.

Subsequent accounts for the 2012 and 2013 years also reveal a lack of audit engagement by the trustees. This lack of audit engagement shows the Ururangi Limited officers have breached and continue to breach their legal obligations to Waikato-Tainui iwi beneficiaries and the general public. (12).

The lack of audit also raises issues about Charities Commission oversight, since that commission is required to look into charitable entities to safeguard beneficiary as well as taxpayer interests. (13)

The trust has attracted criticism from Waikato-Tainui iwi beneficiaries. Eraka's Blog alleged that the tribal charity "has spent donations on gambling sprees, junk food, overseas junkets and luxury-brand shoes while giving nothing back to the tribe". (14)

An audit of the accounts would put this criticism to rest.

Sarah Taylor is an accountant based in Napier.

Sources
1. Declaration of Charitable Trust: Ururangi Limited (Trustee). Charities Commission: Charity Summary: Supporting Documents: Rules.pdf uploaded 01-04-2009 http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/ViewCharity?accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=260da96c-a350-44aa-bc86-bff1e0214f05
2.Charities Commission website: http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/ViewCharity?accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=591eeb1f-b3df-4c94-a10d-aac513ddd25b Supporting documents: Public Application Record.pdf uploaded 05-09-2008
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuheitia_Paki and Companies Office: Ururangi Limited (2137288) Registered Directors – historic data for directors: http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/2137288/directors?backurl=%2Fcompanies%2Fapp%2Fui%2Fpages%2Fcompanies%2Fsearch%3Fmode%3Dstandard%26type%3Dentities%26q%3Dururangi
4. Aggregate of “grants received”: Ururangi Trust: financial statements for the years ended 31st March 2009-2013: Charities Commission website:
(i) Ururangi Trust: Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet: April 2008 through March 2009; Turangawaewae House PO Box 63 Ngaruawaahia 3742 http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/PublicAnnualReturn?nocId=ab0f88f0-84b8-e111-910d-00155d0d1916&charityRef=URU31719&accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=591eeb1f-b3df-4c94-a10d-aac513ddd25b&nocRef=URU31719AR002 Annual Returns Summary: Financials 2009.pdf
(ii) Ururangi Trust Annual Report for the year ended 31March 2010: Staples Rodway Limited: Auckland http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/PublicAnnualReturn?nocId=882ce1ac-82b8-e111-910d-00155d0d1916&charityRef=URU31719&accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=591eeb1f-b3df-4c94-a10d-aac513ddd25b&nocRef=URU31719AR003 Annual Returns Summary: Financials: Ururangi Trust-20101105 Financial Statement.pdf
(iii) Ururangi Trust Special Purpose Financial Statements for the year ended 31March 2011: Staples Rodway Limited: Auckland http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/PublicAnnualReturn?nocId=0743b61e-e60d-e311-8f2f-00155d0d1916&charityRef=URU31719&accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=591eeb1f-b3df-4c94-a10d-aac513ddd25b&nocRef=URU31719AR005 Annual Returns Summary: Financials: Ururangi Trust-20130816 Financial Statement.pdf
(iv) Ururangi Trust Special Purpose Financial Statements for the year ended 31March 2012: Staples Rodway Limited: Auckland http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/PublicAnnualReturn?nocId=6191f102-850f-e311-8f2f-00155d0d1916&charityRef=URU31719&accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=591eeb1f-b3df-4c94-a10d-aac513ddd25b&nocRef=URU31719AR006 Annual Returns Summary: Financials: Ururangi Trust-20130816 Financial Statement_V2.pdf
(v) Ururangi Trust Special Purpose Financial Statements for the year ended 31March 2013: Staples Rodway Limited: Auckland http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/PublicAnnualReturn?nocId=c9506661-b136-e311-8f2f-00155d0d1916&charityRef=URU31719&accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=591eeb1f-b3df-4c94-a10d-aac513ddd25b&nocRef=URU31719AR007 Annual Returns Summary: Financials: Ururangi Trust-20131016 Financial Statement.pdf
5. “Your people” Charities Office website: Annual Return Summary http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/PublicAnnualReturn?nocId=882ce1ac-82b8-e111-910d-00155d0d1916&charityRef=URU31719&accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=591eeb1f-b3df-4c94-a10d-aac513ddd25b&nocRef=URU31719AR003 and Financial Statements (as above) Ururangi Trust-20101105 Financial Statement.pdf
6. Aggregated dated: Ururangi Trust: Special Purpose Financial Statements for the years ended 31st March 2011 – 2013
7. Ururangi Trust Special Purpose Financial Statements for the Year ended 31st March 2013 pages 5 and 8
8.Waikato Tainui publications: “Waikato-Tainui Annual Report 2013”: The Annual Report of the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust for the year ended 31 March 2013: Notes To The Financial Statement: Note 9 Grant Expense: Kiingitanga – Ururangi Trust, Pg54
9. Ururangi Trust – Special Purpose Financial Statements for each of the four years ended 31st March 2010 – 2013: Compilation report to the Trustees: “No audit or review engagement process undertaken”: Staples Rodway Chartered Accountants: pg 2. There are no notes accompanying the financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2009.
10. Ururangi Trust “Declaration of Charitable Trust – Ururangi Limited (Trustee): Charities Commission: Charity Summary: Supporting Documents: Rules.pdf uploaded 01-04-2009 Clause 4.1 “True and Fair Accounts” and Clause 4.2 “Audit”, Pg5 http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/ViewCharity?accountId=65b5f317-f17a-dd11-a406-0015c5f3da29&searchId=260da96c-a350-44aa-bc86-bff1e0214f05
11. Companies Office register: Ibid (3)
12. The Duties, Powers and Office of a Trustee: Fourth Issues Paper June 2011, Wellington, New Zealand: issues paper 26: Default Duties of Trustee 1.22: The Butler list of default duties (include): “(a) to make acquaintance with the trust’s terms; (b) to adhere to the trust’s terms;(c) to maintain impartiality between beneficiaries; (d) to act in the beneficiaries’ best interests; (l) to keep proper accounts and give information as required” The Duties, Powers and Office of a Trustee: Fourth Issues paper Jun 2011, Law Commission, Wellington, New Zealand
13. Charities Act 2005: Sections 10 (g), 10 (h), 10 (i), 10(j)
14. The latest Tainui news from Eraka's Blog 21Dec2013; http://erakablog.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/its-time-to-audit-the-ururangi-trust/

4 comments:

Glenn G said...

It's just the tip of the iceberg, all maori interests are dodgy because they get the money given to them, if they had to work for it then they would respect how hard it is to earn. How can the law turn a blind eye to all that goes on in maoridom, it is shameless!!!!

Anonymous said...

cant keep their dirty hands out of the till, disgusting what they are getting away with

Dave said...

If this was a one off we would be outraged, but sadly this is the norm for anything that involves Maori and money , (usually the taxpayers)

Anonymous said...

Maori and money huh? This may come as a surprise to many but 'white collar crime' is for the most part accurate when looking at who the numerics of those who commit it.