December 02, 2015
CFRT $2m legal bill alarms MP
Labour’s Maori development spokesperson Kelvin Davis is calling for an immediate review of the trustee appointment process at the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.
The New Zealand Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities are supposed to jointly appoint three of the trustees, but in recent years their relationship has broken down.
The Court of Appeal last month dismissed an appeal by the New Zealand Maori Council over the way FOMA reneged on a compromise method of appointing trustees.
Mr Davis says the judgment shows over the past five years the trust has reimbursed more than $2 million in legal costs to both the New Zealand Maori Council and the Federation of Maori Authorities.
He says CFRT funds are supposed to support claims processes rather than legal costs so the Minister of Maori Development needs to review this situation as soon as possible.
In the latest action the court limited costs to just $2500 for each of the three parties.
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