Last week, this story crossed my screen:
A businesswoman honoured by the Queen will be appealing a court order to return more than $14 million to a Maori land trust.But that's not the only thing she's done. As the article points out, she was also convicted of tax evasion in 2012. And then there's the kicker:
Rae Beverley Adlam was found by the Maori Land Court to have "committed a blatant breach of trust" by taking money for self-gain from the process of developing geothermal powerstations on family land in Kawerau.
She was ordered to pay the Bath Trust (formerly the Savage Papakainga Land Trust) $11.2 million from the sale of a geothermal power station and royalties received from Bay of Plenty Electricity of $2.4 million. Adlam was also ordered to pay $823,000 in interest.
Rae Beverley Adlam, 65, of Tauranga was a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business in the 2008 New Year's Honours List.The tax evasion and theft relate to the very business activities she was honoured for. So why does she still have the honour? Is it really appropriate that we continue to honour a convicted tax cheat and thief?
(Though given his decision on Doug Graham, John Key probably thinks it is)