4 Apr 2011

Hapu begins civil case against Latimer

8:06 pm on 4 April 2011

A Northland hapu has opened its civil case in the High Court against former leader Sir Graham Latimer.

Sir Graham, 85, played a leading role in negotiating a $15 million Treaty of Waitangi settlement for his adopted hapu, Te Uri o Hau, in 2001.

The hapu wants to recover $500,000 paid to Sir Graham and another director, Russell Kemp, for consultancy fees it says they were not entitled to.

The hapu says it paid Sir Graham $500,000 over the past 10 years for his services as a trustee and director.

But in 2007, when Sir Graham was deputy chair of Te Uri o Hau's settlement trust, he and Mr Kemp were also paid nearly $500,000

each for consultancy services by the hapu's joint venture company Te Arai Coastal Lands.

Te Uri O Hau says neither Sir Graham nor Mr Kemp divulged those payments, and argues that, as trustees, they were not entitled to profit from deals involving trust assets.

The case is set down for a week in the Whangarei High Court.