Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell makes key appointments to lead Ministerial Investigation in to the affairs of the Te Aupōuri Māori Trust Board.
Grant Taylor, Managing Partner of Ernst and Young based in Wellington, will lead the investigation while Evan Nathan, a Director of Tyson Associates Limited has been appointed as the interim manager of the Trust.
The Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill which includes the settlement for Te Aupouri iwi passed as legislation earlier this month and as a consequence, the Te Aupōuri Māori Trust Board will be dissolved and Te Rūnanga o Te Aupōuri is set to inherit the Trust's assets and liabilities.
Nathan says he aims to provide some interim stability for the Trust.
“As much as possible minimize the impact of the current situation, financially, organisationally and personally, which will ultimately assist the new iwi Rūnanga to take up the responsibilities for leading the iwi over the coming months,” he says.
The Te Aupōuri Māori Trust Board last month closed its social service programs following allegations of financial mismanagement.
Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga Nui o Te Aupōuri Mike Stevens says he is thankful that both the Maori Development and Treaty of Negotiations Ministers are willing to continue to support the Trust Board in preparing and consolidating its affairs to handover to the Rūnanga.
“Our people are cautiously optimistic that we can clear up the situation and find some common sense solutions to the problems that the Trust Board has experienced. No one wants to begin a new era for Aupōuri on the back foot, when there is such an opportunity on our doorstep to make huge advancements now in Te Hiku for our iwi and the wider Northland community,” says Stevens.
Representatives from Te Rūnanga o Te Aupōuri and the Te Aupōuri Māori Trust Board met with Nathan last Wednesday and together will be meeting with Ministerial investigators over the coming weeks.