March 07, 2013
Favoured son under fire on hunting access deal
An inside deal to provide hunting access to Ngāti Tuwharetoa lands has turned sour.
East Taupo Lands Trust refused to renew the licence held by Air Charter Taupo at the end of 2010 and instead gave it to a company owned by trustee Gerard Te Heuheu.
He’s a former Air New Zealand pilot and the son of paramount Chief Sir Tumu Te Heuheu.
It told beneficiaries the move would both preserve the trust’s core income and return to Tuwharetoa control of access to the trust’s 30,000 hectares back-country hunting blocks between Rangitaiki and Waiouru.
Now the trust has voted to remove Mr Te Heuheu as trustee and terminate the access licence.
A hui last week was told his company Tongariro Aviation had failed to repair huts and landing strips and owed $84,000 in outstanding licence fees.
The trust refused to comment.
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