4 Mar 2014

Call for independent CFRT chair

8:13 am on 4 March 2014

The Maori Council has asked the High Court to appoint an independent chairperson to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

The council appeared before Justice Williams in the High Court at Wellington on Monday over a disagreement with the Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA) about the appointment process of a new trustee.

Both the council and FOMA jointly appoint three trustees, and the Crown designates another three trustees.

Maori Council solicitor Donna Hall says there are few trusts with the type of structure where all trustees use their best endeavours to make decision - but she questions what happens when the trustees from each group cannot agree.

The council has requested an independent chair be appointed by the High Court and Justice Williams has asked for more information about how that could work.

Ms Hall says such a change will mean current chair Angela Foulkes stepping down but remaining a trustee.

A decision is expected within a week.