September 11, 2012
Port Nicholson trustees spineless on SFO request
A beneficiary of Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust says trustees need to develop some backbone.
Lawyer Jason Fox got the trust’s annual meeting to endorse a recommendation that the trust form a separate board to manage its commercial assets.
But the meeting was not allowed to vote on his call that the Serious Fraud Office be asked to investigate all the trust’s commercial transactions in the four years since its treaty settlement.
The SFO is already probing deals involving the Wellington Tenths Trust.
Sir Ngatata Love, who chairs both trusts, has stepped aside pending the outcome of that inquiry.
Mr Fox says he has lodged his own complaint with the SFO.
“It would have been more powerful if the members actually did it themselves and sent a clear message to the trustees that this behaviour is not acceptable but I was disappointed there was still a little bit of denial going on and a lot of back turning from people who should have had some backbone to say this is just not good enough,” Mr Fox says.
Jason Fox says it will take years to repair the damage caused to the Port Nicholson Settlement Trust’s reputation.