No investigation into wharewaka funding
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 9:51p.m.
The Auditor-General's office says no further investigation is warranted into the funding of the wharewaka on Wellington's waterfront.
The Auditor-General was asked in April to investigate a number of issues relating to funding for the construction of the building, which houses two ceremonial waka.
The Crown provided $7 million for the wharewaka's construction and the Auditor-General's office says it's satisfied those funds were used for their intended purpose.
The idea to build the wharewaka came about during negotiations over the Port Nicholson Block Treaty of Waitangi settlement.
The Crown provided funding for the wharewaka's construction separate to that settlement.
"The Crown saw the idea as having wider potential benefits, including providing a significant venue for Maori cultural events in Wellington, and economic benefits through attracting tourists," the Auditor-General's office said in a statement.
Although the Crown needed to work with local Maori on the project, it didn't need to establish a formal mandate with Taranaki Whanui before giving the funds to the trust that runs the wharewaka, Wharewaka O Poneke Charitable Trust, the Auditor-General's office said.
Tata Parata, a former Lower Hutt city councillor and Taranaki Whanui member, had written to the Auditor-General in April saying he was concerned public money was used without following proper process.
He said this had resulted in "the construction of a wharewaka which in reality is a commercially run conference centre, cafe and corporate catering kitchen . . . in which Taranaki Whanui have no property or other financial interest," the Dominion Post reported at the time.
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