Waitangi National Trust CEO Greg McManus revealed to Kawekōrero that he’d known Wallace Tamamotu Te Ahuru since he was 16, considered him a family friend and felt personally betrayed by his actions to defraud the Waitangi National Trust.
Wallace Tamamotu Te Ahuru pleaded guilty to fraud, as it relates to $1.2 million which Te Ahuru misappropriated from the Waitangi National Trust when he was employed as their corporate services manager. McManus, who was Te Ahurus immediate supervisor, said he felt Te Ahuru was trustworthy.
“Absolutely (he was trustworthy), I’ve worked with Wallace since he was 16, he came to work with me at the Rotorua museum straight out of school on a work-school program, I would’ve described him as one of the most trustworthy people I’ve ever worked with," admits McManus.
The Trusts CEO also said the wider Trust found Te Ahuru to be trustworthy.
“Myself, and my board trusted him 100%, that’s what makes it even harder for me to accept," says McManus.
The deceit hit close to home for McManus, considering his history with the 30-year-old.
“He was a family friend and I trusted him. I feel personally betrayed.”