July 24, 2018
SFO raids Māori king’s charity
Serious Fraud Office investigators have raided the Ngāruawāhia office of the Māori King.
This morning's raid followed the referal by the Charities Service of a complaint about the King's charitable trust.
The service has spent the past year looking into claims of misspending at Ururangi Trust, which is intended to support the functions of the Kiingitanga and King Tūheitia Paki.
It receives almost $2 million a year from Waikato Tainui.
The trust asked to be deregistered on June 1, when the Charities Register said it had $830,000 in assets and $805,000 in liabilities.
In its most recent annual report the trust said it funded activities around the annual Koroneihana Hui and the Tūrangawaewae Royal Regatta, as well as giving koha for poukai and tangi.
The accounts reveal a related part payment of travel expenses to Māori International, a company owned by the king's secretary Rangi Whakaruru.
Senior Waikato Tainui member Tukoroirangi Morgan has welcomed the move saying at least they (SFO) will have a level of competency to investigate a very serious allegation get to the bottom of it.
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