A man has been charged over the alleged theft of a large amount of money from a Taranaki hapu.

He is facing 46 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, six of forgery and five charges of obtains by deception.

He was scheduled to appear in New Plymouth District Court on March 15.

The alleged thefts took place over about five years. After an internal investigation into accounting discrepencies, Ngati Te Whiti Whenua Topu Trust laid a complaint with police in May last year.

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A Maori Land Court judge has ordered an independent review of the trust, and a hearing was expected to take place next month.