19 Sept, 2016
Candidates publicly challenge Chairman
& PNBST Board to "Come Clean"
A group of candidates standing for election to the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust Board are laying down a
challenge this week for the current Chairman and his fellow Board members – give your people some straight-up
answers so they can make a fully informed decision about how to cast their votes.
The six candidates – working together under the banner Taranaki Whānui E Tū (meaning ‘members stand up’) – are:
Scott Bailey, Vennessa Ede, Andrew Mepham, Paora Mepham, Kara Puketapu-Dentice and Mahina Puketapu.
Their alliance was formed in response to growing dissatisfaction with the performance of the current Trust Board,
particularly in relation to the lack of honest, transparent communication about Trust-owned land at Shelly Bay.
Following an information leak, the Trust Board was forced last week to finally admit it was entering into a joint
venture deal about Shelly Bay, ‘under great urgency’. Taranaki Whānui E Tū understand this deal will see ownership
of the land progressively transferred into the hands of developers over time – despite the Board having received a
clear message from members earlier in the year that Shelly Bay should not be sold.
Taranaki Whānui E Tū aim to provide voting members with a cohesive, positive alternative to the incumbent
Trustees (including Chairman Neville Baker) standing for re-election. They are calling on Baker to step up and provide
members with straight answers about the deal.
Candidate Andrew Mepham says, “We turned up at the Trust office last week seeking answers to five simple
questions. But the Board members and CEO all ran out the back door rather than respond, racing off in their cars to
an undisclosed location so they could meet in secret instead. That’s such bizarre behaviour for elected
representatives – all we want is for members to know what’s really going on with their land so they can make
informed voting choices in the upcoming Board election.”
The questions are:
1. Are there plans to transfer the titles of the land at Shelly Bay from Shelly Bay Ltd to another company, and
2. What is the name of that company, and who are the directors?
3. Will The Wellington Company (the developers) hold shares in this company, and if so, what percentage of
shareholding will The Wellington Company hold at the conclusion of the joint venture?
4. Didn’t the Trust Board state at the consultation hui at Pipitea Marae on 9 February 2016 that, if a ‘no’ vote
came back from its members, ‘there would be no further action to sell Shelly Bay without full consultation’?
5. Can the Trust Board assure its members that 100% ownership of Shelly Bay and all associated companies, will
remain in the hands of the Trust?
Kara Puketapu-Dentice says, “Neville Baker must provide members with straight answers to these five simple
questions this week, because voting to fill six vacancies on the Trust Board has already opened.”
“And if he does not respond, members should take that as a sure sign that nothing about the way the Trust Board
currently operates, is going to change - unless members exercise their voting rights to bring about that change.”
“We look forward to being able to share the Trust’s answers to these questions (or not!) at our Hui next Saturday
More information about the Taranaki Whānui E Tū candidates can be found here.
Contacts for interviews:
Copyright 2016. Taranaki Whānui E Tū