22 Aug 2012

Maori Language Commission board members overpaid

9:35 pm on 22 August 2012

Board members of the Maori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri, were overpaid by tens of thousands of dollarsover five years, it has been revealed.

Chairperson Erima Henare was paid $65,300 extra, former board member Wayne Ngata $11,084 more, while former chairperson Patu Hohepa received $20,925 extra.

The issue was identified in November 2010, but has only just come to light in a report by The Dominion Post newspaper.

The payments exceeded the maximum because the board members were working more days than expected by the Cabinet Fees Framework.

A spokesperson for Te Taura Whiri says an audit by its lawyers found the payment discrepancies were not deliberate and other Crown agencies that were supposed to monitor Te Taura Whiri provided the wrong advice.

The spokesperson says steps have been taken to ensure that the payments are now correct.

The board members were not forced to give the money back.