August 03, 2014
Judge gives deadline on trust picks
A High Court Judge has given the Federation of Maori Authorities and the New Zealand Maori Council 60 days to fill a vacancy on the troubled Crown Forestry Rental Trust.
In a 98-page judgment delivered last week, Justice Stephen Kos clarified how the trust’s deed should be interpreted when deciding how forestry claimants should be funded for Waitangi Tribunal research and settlement negotiations.
He said the trust has become a crucible for conflict, which needs to be resolved.
The federation and the council jointly appoint Maori members to the trust, but an attempt to do so in January ended up in court after the FOMA executive vetoed the choice made by its representatives on the panel.
Justice Kos said they must try again, this time with the whole executive sitting down with the Maori Council.
But FOMA’s preferred choice, Mangatu Incorporation chair Alan Haronga, can’t be considered because he has spent six years on the trust and must now stand down.
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