National | Fraud

Tribe should have mandate if fraud proven - Tuku Morgan

Tukoroirangi Morgan says the King’s office should be placed under the mandate of the tribe if fraud is proven after the Office of the Māori King was today searched by the Serious Fraud Office.

This latest incident raises concerns for the former spokesperson of the King.

“For me the real benefit is an investigation into any possible wrong-doing.  If there is any fraud we can leave it to the law to follow due process," said Morgan.

“The most important thing is that supporters of the King Movement know what’s going on. This is a major issue.  What concerns me the most is any criticism that will be aimed at the King and the Kiingitanga.”

Tuku says there's only one option available.

“Return the King’s office under the mandate of the tribe. The tribe will take care of the office’s affairs. We should not allow the office to be run independently if there is any truth to the allegations.”

No charges have been laid at this stage.

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

“They (SFO) had removed documents and some hard-drives relating to an individual investigation that they’re carrying out,” Gardiner said.

“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.”

This search follows on from accusations of using iwi funds for a stomach stapling operation, which has been confirmed by the office, but they won't name the person.

There were also concerns regarding the charitable status of Ururangi Trust.

The Trust has now withdrawn that status.