27 May 2014

Trust says fund misuse claims historical

3:29 pm on 27 May 2014

The South Auckland Maori trust accused by New Zealand First of misappropriating funds says the issues raised are historical and it's conducting its own investigation.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has released evidence which he said showed improper processes, questionable payments and doctored invoices at the Te Roopu Tauima O Manukau Trust.

The trust got $30.6 million in government funding last year to help disabled people.

The trust has responded by saying it's been conducting its own employment investigation of issues of misappropriation of funds and the misuse of confidential information.

It said if any information needed to be referred to other authorities once the investigation was complete, it would be passed on.

But a former board member of Te Roopu Tauima O Manukau Trust is backing calls for an investigation into the trust's dealings.

Shane Te Pou, who sat on the board several years ago, said an investigation was warranted.

"This is public spend, these are some of our most vulnerable citizens, the other concern is that the CEO, the chair, an external accountant that works for the trust and the auditor were informed about this early in the year by staff and they have not acted."