A former police officer is accused of the theft of more than $600,000 from a Taranaki Maori trust .

Shaun Joseph Keenan was previously the chief executive of the Ngāti Te Whiti Whenua Topu Trust, which was formed through the amalgamation of the Bayly Rd and Puke Ariki trusts.

Keenan, who was a police officer for more than 20 years, has been charged with 57 charges relating to the theft of more than $630,000 from the hapu organisation.

The offending is alleged to have taken place between February 2012 and April 2017.


The charges include 46 counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, five of obtains by deception and six of forgery.

Keenan was due to appear in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday on this matter, but the case was adjourned by consent until May 10.

No pleas have been entered, and the court confirmed there has been no application made for name suppression.

Keenan served as project manager for a $4.5 million marae build for the Ngāti Te Whiti Whenua Topu Trust until the project was scrapped last year. At the time, the hapu said the project was cancelled because of missing money.

Keenan's wife, Kayanna, is a serving police officer with the rank of sergeant. She works as a Māori liaison officer. She is not facing any charges.

Police declined comment on the case as it is currently before the courts.