Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mike Butler: Forestry trust’s vanishing $1m

The Far North Parengarenga 3G Trust that received more than $1-million two years ago now has $13.41 in the bank after allegations that trustees paid themselves $600,000 and with a further $400,000 unaccounted for.

The Maori Land Court appointed seven people in 2009 to replace the Maori Trustee as responsible trustees for a 500ha plantation forestry block in Parengarenga, according to a reserved judgment by Judge David Ambler.

The Maori Trustee transferred $1,090,000 into its accounts in September 2012.

Court documents show that between September 2012 and September this year the trust paid more than $200,000 to the Stephen Henry Whanau Trust - of which Stephen Henare and his daughter, Stephanie Henry, are trustees.

More than $100,000 was paid to Patrick and Margaret Dixon and in excess of $183,000 to SJ Henry and SJ Henare - understood to be Mr Henare or his daughter. A further $100,000 went to The Bear Legacy Company Limited - in which Mr Henare has a 10 per cent shareholding.

The court documents said that the trust's bank accounts were left with $5.76, $2.67 and $4.98 - a total of $13.41.

Judge Ambler removed the four people from the trust in August, required them to deliver the documents and assets of the trust to the remaining trustees, and froze the bank accounts of Stephen Henare, Margaret Dixon and Stephanie Henare up to a maximum of $1-million.

Meanwhile in Gisborne, a former Maori trust chief executive who was found guilty of dishonestly using her organisation's credit card to obtain about $15,000 this week had her sentencing adjourned in a bid for discharge without conviction.

Te Hemoata Dawn Pomana, 59, the former CEO of Ngai Tamanuhiri Whanui at Muriwai, south of Gisborne, was found guilty of using a trust credit card to make 93 separate cash withdrawals totalling $15,440, between December 26, 2010 and September 15, 2011.

Earlier, “bad investments and bailouts” wiped almost half the value off Taupo tribe Tuwharetoa’s $66-million share of the “Treelord’s” treaty settlement by May 2013. And about a year earlier, Taranaki's Ngati Tama tribe reported it lost its $14.5-million payout it received in 2003, also in “bad investments”.

Maori trust's $1 million is now $15,
Former trust CEO seeks discharge for taking $15k,
Bailouts, bad ventures halve Treelord cash,
Iwi loses most of treaty payout,


paul scott said...

All these Trust re distributions Mike are after tax payments [ 30%+ ] on behalf of trustee or beneficiary are they ?. I suppose so. Because trusts are often useless as an investment tool depending on what rate of tax you pay.

Mike Butler said...

Tribal trusts are permitted to function as charities and pay no income tax. From April 1, 2003, any organisation that administers a marae situated on a Maori reservation may qualify for an income tax exemption as a charity. Tax (when payable) on Maori authority distributions is deducted at the default rate of 17.5 percent rather than the normal dividend rate of 33 percent.

Dave said...

snouts in the trough, incompetent, and out right stealing. These thieves and the people who appoint them should be brought to justice. But we all know that will not happen because as the Maori party says our justice system is racist, so just let them enjoy their ill gotten gains and put in another treaty claim for more money or hit on that soft touch John Key I'm sure him and that grovelling lackey called Finlayson will be able to find some more taxpayers dollars to hand out. There will be many more ground hog days to come.

Cpt747 said...

..and so the 'iwi' rip-off of New Zealand is showing up in the accountants numbers...!! and Key just rolls on down the road with his bunch of CRIMS....really pathetic...

Anonymous said...

I'll look after your share Bro, personally, Trust me - he he!

Anonymous said...

Most of the claims have been paid out before, with the same result, squandering of funds and outright theft. There will be no end to claims, its an open ended deal for Maori to keep 'topping up'

ONZF said...


“From Treaty to Conspiracy”, published in 1998 by the One New Zealand Foundation Inc p. 31.

In 1991, the Government set up the Crown Forest Rental Trust with a grant of $25 million for Maori to research their alleged Treaty claims for forestry. This Trust also receives rental on the forest they have claims against, even before the claims have been researched, heard or settled. During the year to March 1997, the Trust had received a total of $36.3 million in rental of the Crown licensed forests - our forests. The cumulative rentals since 1991 exceed $157 million. To date 1998, the Trust has allocated $25 million of our money to claimants to research their claims against our forests. In the letter attached, the Trust was concerned that if this information was disclosed it would have the potential of adversely affecting their ability to pursue their claims against the Crown. See page 172. With this amount of our money being thrown at them by Government to "selectively research" their claims against the Crown, which we will eventually pay, I don't blame them for being concerned if it were let known.

In the mean time our hospitals, schools, and police force are allowed to run down through lack of funding. Billions of dollars of our money, which should be going to educating our children, helping our sick, looking after our elderly and policing our country is being given to this small "elite" group of our part-Maori population who have already been compensated for their many varied and very dubious claims many time over.

Unknown said...

Some of the comments above are unfair. Sure there are signs of theft, fraud and incompetence, but when there is a lot of money handed out it encourages the weak and greedy of all races. Overall the Treaty Settlement process seems to be successfully rebuilding the economic base of Iwi around the country. The stronger they get, the better the socio-economic outcomes for Maori. I'm all in favour of empowerment rather than welfare.

Anonymous said...

It's time to put a stop to all these so called handouts of millions of taxpayer dollars. I agree with ONZF.. the money should be spent on Hospitals, Police, Kids in poverty and the sick and elderly along with all other charities that contribute funds for the benefit of ALL New Zealanders.

Glenn G said...

Howard you have got to be dreaming. Name one statistic that involves maori that is better with all the billions that are thrown at them other than a very few of them have become very very wealthy while all along having joe punter maori thinking that the government must pay more, because they are not about to give up their place fair & square in the middle of the trough. All you will do is empower them to become lazier than they already are. It is shameless how maori say they have mana when in truth they are a broken race that knows no other way of life other than to hold their hand out, "empowerment over welfare" it smacks of academia that has been indoctrinated by the system, just like the BS about child poverty which does not exist. If people didn't have 6 kids when they earn a minimum amount of money along with the fact that anyone in this country can get enough assistance to feed, clothe, & house their kids but if they spend it on alcohol, drugs & KFC there can only be one outcome, kids that are not looked after, that academia has called child poverty, what a sick joke they have played on us, again another lie that will now become a truth.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot more to the story , than just stealing trust money ....
Yes STEALING is what it's called ,.....
But to them , they think it's there's .....
Hope the courts do there job ???

Anonymous said...

The vanishing million dollars trust money is up for a 4 day court hearing march 8-11 2016
Parengarenga 3G
I hope the court gets to the bottom of where the money has gone .
For us shareholders, we want Answers . The money obviously is all gone so where was it spent . And on what ?
Always comes down to GREED .
What I'd like to know is how do you give responsibility of a million dollars to a group of sickness beneficiaries running a trust .
No background checks were done even though , share holders were against the courts awarding them the roll of Responsible trustees
Proof was provided to courts .
Now where has it left us ?
Like telling the kids , don't touch the lollies .look but don't touch