23 Jul 2013

Ngati Tama finances back in red

8:11 pm on 23 July 2013

A northern Taranaki tribe financially crippled by high risk investments is now nearly $2 million in credit thanks to an advisory group.

The state of Ngati Tama's books was made public in the first half of last year.

A member of the advisory panel brought in by the Trust says a series of high risk investments including a computer software package called My Virtual Home, cost the tribe millions of dollars of its Treaty settlement.

The Treaty package, made law in 2003, included cash of $14.5 million.

Advisory panel member Richard Bately who affiliates to Ngati Tama and is an accountant, says after checking the books he found the iwi was insolvent.

However, he says the panel found ways to get the tribe back into credit by selling assets such as the tribal office and better managing the iwi's investments.

And Mr Bately says those changes have gradually paid off its debts and resulted in the tribe being in credit by $1.8 million.

Mr Bately says now the tribe is not in arrears, it's time for the board of trustees to step down and call a fresh election.