Greg White - Asshole of the Week | The Jackal

19 Apr 2012

Greg White - Asshole of the Week

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

A Taranaki iwi has lost almost $20 million, wiping the total value of its $14.5 million 2003 Treaty of Waitangi settlement, as its leaders go to ground following the announcement.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson labelled the situation "very sad indeed" but expressed confidence in the wider strength of iwi organisations' post-settlement bodies to manage their assets.

From the region's north, Ngati Tama has reportedly lost almost $20 million with just $1.5 million in tribal assets remaining.

Finlayson's confidence is clearly misplaced and the government has an obligation to ensure that settlement funds benefit the wider Maori community, not just a few Maori elite who have squandered the money that was meant to be for reparation.

The government dictates the terms of settlement and therefore bears some responsibility for how and who manages it. And that's where this story gets interesting:

The chief executive of the Ngati Tama Development Trust, Greg White, appears to have fallen on his sword, resigning with two other trust members. Mr White was prominent negotiating the original deal before shifting roles to manage the asset.

A former National Party electoral candidate, he built a profile around the issue of settlements early last decade but could not be contacted yesterday.

Greg White, who ranked number 30 on National's party list, is obviously a coward and has gone into hiding. What really makes him this weeks asshole award winner though is a clear conflict of interest that stinks of corruption.

Today, reported:

Records on file at the Companies Office show Ngati Tama had shares in an unusual mix of companies including the Eel Enhancement Company, Original Pipe Traders, Open Group, Ikatuna and My Virtual Home, which is now in liquidation costing the tribe more than $12.5m.

Ngati Tama was also a sole shareholder in Ikatuna which had stakes in Septic Solutions Taranaki and Tu'Ere Fishing. Greg White had involvement as a director in four of the companies.

So while Greg White was administering the settlement funds, he was ensuring that they were invested in companies he was directly involved in and benefiting from. FFS!

My Virtual Home, which has been deregistered in Australia, also has a similar stench about it. But what I find unusual is that the potentially unlawful debenture (PDF), and the conflict with Creative Design and Software Pty Ltd., which is the Australian subsidiary of My Virtual Home International, dates back to 2008.

In March 2011, reported:

Mr White is one of seven directors of the company and his father is listed as the sole shareholder.

However, an iwi source told the Taranaki Daily News that some board members did not know about the extent of the investment in the company.

"I can guarantee there are people on that board who don't know about it all," the person, who did not wish to be named, said.

So for not informing the trust board (or the public for that matter) of the problem, having a clear conflict of interest in at least four companies and making the dodgy investment in the first place, Greg White is this weeks asshole award recipient.

I wonder how many more corrupt Natz are out there?