A former Taranaki police officer has been remanded for sentencing after pleading guilty to dozens of theft charges amounting to more than $480,000.

Shaun Joseph Keenan, of Stratford, pleaded guilty to 49 theft related charges in May last year, contesting a further eight charges. The offending was alleged to have taken place between 2012 and 2017.

Keenan was due to face a judge-alone trial in the New Plymouth High Court this week on the eight charges.

However when he appeared in court on Monday, the court heard the Crown would be withdrawing some charges, with other charges being amended in relation to the amounts taken.


Prosecutor Justin Marinovich told Judge Gregory Hikaka a total of 10 charges were being withdrawn, leaving no contested charges.

With guilty pleas already entered on the remaining charges, including the ones amended in this week's hearing, Keenan would be sentenced in May on the charges, which total $486,045.71.

Judge Hikaka ordered a pre-sentence report to be completed beforehand, advising Keenan the report would include options for community and home detention but this was not a guarantee of the outcome.

Keenan was formerly 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.

He had been a police officer for 21 years, prior to leaving the service in 2011.

Keenan was project manager for a $4.5 million marae build for the Ngāti Te Whiti Whenua Topu Trust until the project was scrapped in 2017.

At the time, the hapu said the project was cancelled because of missing money.

Keenan is due to be sentenced on May 29.