24 Aug 2012

Inquiry puts interim chair in charge of Maori trust

10:00 am on 24 August 2012

The man temporarily heading a Wellington iwi says he has no idea how long he'll be filling in for the chairperson, who has stepped aside while a financial inquiry is held into another Maori body.

Sir Ngatata Love is taking leave of absence from his leadership roles.

He chairs the Maori reserve land administrative organisation the Wellington Tenths Trust, which is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.

He also heads an arm of the Taranaki Tribal Collective - the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust.

Stand-in chairperson Mahara Okeroa, a former Labour MP for Te Tai Tonga, says there's no connection between the two trusts; and he declined to comment on whether there is support for Sir Ngatata, saying it would be inappropriate to respond while the inquiry is under way.

Mr Okeroa will only say the common denominator is that members of the trusts are all related, and descend from Taranaki.