24 Jul 2013

Panel wants tribe to hold fresh election

9:09 am on 24 July 2013

Members of a Taranaki iwi advisory panel are urging the tribe's board of trustees to step down, now that Ngati Tama is no longer facing financial ruin.

The tribe was financially crippled by bad investments which were made public in April 2012.

Two advisory members say the tribe's bank balance is in credit by nearly $2 million thanks to changes made by the panel including the selling of assets and better investment management.

The panel was brought in about 15 months ago, about the same time a special hui for beneficiaries was called to talk about the tribe's cashflow problems.

Panel member Amos White said it is time for the board to adhere to a request made by the people at the hui and step down. He hopes a fresh election would be held soon.

Another panel member, Richard Bately, is concerned that problems may repeat if a new election isn't held.

Amos White said since Ngati Tama's cashflow improved about six months ago, the panel's advice is no longer needed by the board. He said the trustees have also brought in former iwi development trust chief executive Greg White.

Greg White said he isn't on the board, but is providing help to the trustees.

Te Manu Korihi invited Ngati Tama chair Stephen White to respond, however he was unavailable for comment.