August 28, 2012
Trust elections continue despite SFO inquiry
The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust is seeking legal advice on whether it can proceed with its election.
Its chair Sir Ngatata Love is among the 13 candidates standing for five open positions.
But Sir Ngatata stood aside from the role after mail and internet voting opened when the Serious Fraud Office announced it would investigate allegations concerning another trust he chairs, the Wellington Tenths.
Maraea Ropata from Te Atiawa has asked acting Port Nicholson chair Mahara Okeroa to stop the elections while the SFO continues its investigation.
She has also asked the SFO to extend its investigations into the other trusts chaired by Sir Ngatata, including Port Nicholson, Palmerston North Maori Reserve Trust, and the Wharewaka Trust.
The chief returning officer, Anthony Morton, says Sir Ngatata’s decision to take leave of absence from his elected roles would have no immediate effect on the election, which is due to be completed by September 8.