Did they have skills?

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

Many years ago the Sale of Liquor Act en­abled the es­tab­lish­ment of the Porirua Li­cens­ing Trust.

That same Act sub­se­quently en­abled the dis­so­lu­tion of the PLT and the es­tab­lish­ment of the Porirua Community Trust.

The trus­tees of the PLT sought the as­sis­tance of the Gover­nor Gen­eral of the day to pass an or­der in coun­cil which dis­solved the PLT and vested all the as­sets of the PLT onto the PCT. The dis­so­lu­tion took place on March 31, 2007. That is, on 31/3/07 PCT owned ev­ery­thing that pre­vi­ously had been owned by PLT.

How is it then, that the then pres­i­dent of the PLT and an­other trustee signed ac­counts for PLT falsely, rep­re­sent­ing that PLT ex­isted and held as­sets to­talling $6.685 mil­lion as at March 31, 2007?

Did the au­di­tors know this when they signed a clean au­dit cer­tifi­cate for PLT’s ac­counts or were they mis­led?

Were the other trus­tees of that time, all but one of whom still hold pub­lic of­fice, aware of the fal­sity of the ac­counts or did they, as seems so of­ten to be the case, not have the skills to hold the of­fice they were paid for?

I note from the pub­lic notice in this week’s Kapi-Mana News that an AGM of PCT is sched­uled for Septem­ber 20. The notice states that the trus­tees will elect a chair­per­son at the meet­ing. I call on the trus­tees to think again.

PCT is a body cor­po­rate. The trus­tees are not nec­es­sar­ily the mem­bers of the body cor­po­rate. It is likely that the mem­bers are the elec­tors. The trust deed pro­vides for an AGM of the Trust (not the trus­tees – and this is a clear dis­tinc­tion).

It pro­vides that at each AGM a chair­per­son shall be elected. It does not pro­vide for the trus­tees to be the per­sons elect­ing the chair­per­son. There­fore the mem­bers seem to be the per­sons who should elect the chair­per­son.

That not­with­stand­ing, four of the six cur­rent trus­tees have demon­strated they did not un­der­stand an­nual fi­nan­cial state­ments; one other has done so in other re­spects so that just leaves coun­cil­lor Shep­pard un­tainted, so to speak.

PLT did re­con­sti­tute it­self as a community trust un­der the pro­vi­sions of the Sale of Liquor Act on March 31, 2007. How­ever, the the point Mr Collins seeks to make in re­spect of an­nual ac­counts pro­duced at that time es­capes me.

I sus­pect he just en­joys en­deav­our­ing to muddy the wa­ters where he can. I can say, how­ever, that the de­ci­sions taken at the time to re­con­sti­tute the PLT into the PCT and the pa­per trail pro­duced to sup­port and record these ac­tions, were un­der­taken with cau­tion and on the ad­vice and with the over­sight of the Trust’s solic­i­tors, and in co-op­er­a­tion with the Au­dit Of­fice.

To sug­gest that false rep­re­sen­ta­tions were made at the time is just non­sense.

In re­spect of his ref­er­ences to the to the an­nual meet­ing and the elec­tion of the chair­man, the trus­tees do not need to think again. They know their Trust deed and what its re­quire­ments are of them.

Amongst other things it re­quires of trus­tees two things, one to have an an­nual pub­lic meet­ing and to give the pub­lic (elec­tors) an ac­count of their stew­ard­ship over the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial years and two, to elect a chair­man. Most li­cens­ing trusts carry out these two func­tions on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions. How­ever, the PCT de­cided when it was formed to have these two events co­in­cide.

The pub­lic’s op­por­tu­nity to have an

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