Marae trustees ordered to repay $20,000 to Waimapu marae

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

It's clear Waimapu marae near Poike in Tauranga is in need of a makeover.

The marae was to be renovated with money received from Ngati Ranginuis $38 million dollars of treaty settlement money.

However according to a Māori Land Court judgement two marae trustees admitted to spending over $20,000 dollars of the iwis settlement money.

Some of the iwi's settlement money was allocated to Waimapu marae in Tauranga.

The couple spent the money at Skycity Casino in Auckland, Riverside Casino in Hamilton and Bars around Tauranga.

Te Kani Williams says, “There are three things that went wrong, first of all it was the members from the trust, second it was the crown. They didn't monitor the people and how they spent the money.”

Ngati Ranginui hapū Ngāti Ruahine which is associated with Waimapu marae received cash and land worth about $2 million dollars.

Te Kani Williams says there needs to be strict measures in place to ensure treaty money is spent appropriately.

“Nowadays the crown just give the money then walks away, they don't give guidance to these people when they receive the money.”

Te Kāea contacted Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ranginui for comment but they weren't available to talk.

Maori Land Court Judge Stephen Clark ordered that the Harrisons, be removed as trustees and as signatories of the bank accounts, and ordered  they pay  the $20,000 dollars back to the marae.