Ngatata Love taken to hospital during fraud trial

By Sophie Boot

Ngatata Love is facing fraud charges in the High Court. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Ngatata Love is facing fraud charges in the High Court. Photo / Kenny Rodger

Former Maori leader Ngatata Love has been taken to hospital as his fraud trial entered its second week.

Love, who was made a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Maori in 2008, is charged with obtaining a secret commission and significant sums by deception.

The Crown says he signed an agreement in late 2006 with a property developer to ensure it could lease land owned by the Wellington Tenths Trust, which Love chaired, and he received service fees through Pipitea Street Development Limited (PSDL), a company owned by his partner, Lorraine Skiffington, without the trust's knowledge.

The Crown says Love and Skiffington were paid $1.5 million, which they used to repay a loan. Skiffington was also charged but has been granted a permanent stay due to her ill health, while Ngatata Love's son Matene Love had already pleaded guilty to accepting a secret commission.

Shaan Stevens, another director at PDSL, gave part of his evidence this morning, but stopped when Love was taken to hospital. It's not clear whether the court hearing will resume this afternoon.

Ngatata Love is represented by Colin Carruthers QC, while Grant Burston is appearing for the Crown.

- BusinessDesk

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