Te Ururoa Flavell investigating Maori trust board
A Far North Maori trust board has lost "a substantial amount of money" and there will be an inquiry into its affairs, Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says.
It could involve hundreds of thousands of dollars, he told reporters today.
"The board is looking to close its doors in the next day or so, so clearly there are some serious issues to be looked at," he said.
Earlier on Thursday Mr Flavell said in a statement he had ordered the investigation into the Aupouri Maori Trust Board because it had told him it was experiencing "financial problems" and had asked for an interim manager to be appointed.
"The investigation will ascertain the facts and circumstances that have resulted from the board's current financial situation," he said.
The board delivers social services on behalf of the government, and it appears that most if not all of them have ended.
Mr Flavell says the contracts are being transferred to other providers.
"There will be some loss of staff," he said.
Mr Flavell says no allegations of fraud have been raised with him.
The Northern Advocate reports the board announced yesterday it was facing "challenging financial circumstances" and had initiated an in-depth audit.
It had ceased a number of operations and social service delivery programmes, which resulted in a number of job losses, the report said.
On its website the board describes its mission as "to nurture and support spiritual, cultural and economic development of our iwi through mana-enhancing initiatives".