Waitangi Trust CEO denies mistakes were made

Waitangi Trust CEO, Greg McManus acknowledges that they need to take responsibility for the $1.2 million taken from the trust by a former staffer, but doesn’t believe mistakes were made on their end. 

When asked if he accepts that mistakes were made that led to the trust being defrauded, McManus says, “I don’t accept that mistakes were made, he was able to falsify reports so the information that we as management and as directors and trustees were getting was all false, we were seeing a set of accounts that weren’t real.”

McManus told Kawekōrero that it was a very sophisticated operation that led to the fraud.

“The reality is, if someone has criminal intent and also has the ability to cover their tracks, it is very difficult to discover."

He also said the trust now has to put in place processes to mitigate the possibility of this ever happening again, including increasing the size of the finance team.

Regarding any possible reimbursement of the stolen funds, McManus says, “His lawyer indicated yesterday that he spent all the money so we’re not optimistic that we’ll recover anything from him."