April 15, 2014
Toxic trust warned to grow up
What judges have described as toxic relationships at the main treaty claim funding body look set to continue, with the High Court refusing to intervene in a dispute over membership of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.
In a just-released judgment, Justice Joe Williams turned down an application by the New Zealand Maori Council and trustees Sir Taihakurei Durie and Maanu Paul to replace Angela Foulkes, with an independent non-voting chair.
Justive Williams says he agreed with retired Judge Bruce Robertson that a toxic environment had developed among trustees, but they were all highly-experienced professionals, and it is time for them to act as professionals and sort out their problems.
He says if there is any truth to the allegation that Ms Foulkes has refused to allow debate around the trust’s funding policies, that must stop.
Justice Williams also upheld the Federation of Maori Authorities’ decision to veto a change in the Maori-appointed trustees.
He says while FOMA had delegated some of its members to sit alongside Maori council representatives on the appointors panel, FOMA’s trust deed gives its executive the final say.
The substantive case will be heard in June.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd