National | Fraud

EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: SFO swoops on Māori King's office

The Office of the Māori King has officially confirmed it has been searched by the Serious Fraud Office this morning.

A spokesperson from the King’s office, Wira Gardiner, has just confirmed with Māori Television that the Serious Fraud Office had visited the office in Hopuhopu, north of Ngaruawahia, this morning.

The SFO had removed documents and hard drives belonging to an individual who was under investigation.

“I can’t comment any further given that I’m not too sure what the allegations are or where the investigation will go and in time the Serious Fraud Office will conduct their investigations and we’ll know what the outcome will be,” said Gardiner.

The search follows revelations in April that the office of Kingi Tuheitia had paid for weight loss-surgery.

The recipient of the surgery was never named but the Charities Services was investigating.

Kingi Tuheitia was not present during this morning’s search.

Māori Television also understands the future charity status of the King’s office is also under scrutiny.

No charges have been laid at this stage.