15 Mar 2013

Iwi says trust board members should quit over land sale

6:43 am on 15 March 2013

The leader of Taranaki Whanui in Wellington is calling on members of the tribe's commercial division to resign after land was sold to a housing developer.

Some descendants are considering taking legal action following the sale of the empty Waiwhetu School in Lower Hutt just a few years after the Crown returned the site to the iwi.

The land was sold by the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust - the body set up to manage the iwi's Treaty settlement money.

Taranaki Whanui in Wellington chief executive Kara Puketapu says those who voted for the sale should go.

He says the people he calls the culprits must resign.

Dr Puketapu says the decision makers need to tell the claimants what they did.

But Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust chairperson Mahara Okeroa says he won't be resigning.

He says all 11 trustees followed the rules, and a majority vote was passed to sell the land.

Mr Okeroa reveals not all descendants were told about the sale because it's stopped sending out newsletters due to tight financial times.

He says their cash flow has been quite testing, but he's hoping to make sure all beneficiaries receive updates on what the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust is doing.