Thieving Maori ratbag jailed for two and half years

For years this case was kept secret, and then name suppression expired.

Now Sir Ngatata Love has been jailed for being a thieving ratbag.

Former Treaty of Waitangi claims negotiator Ngatata Love has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison after being convicted of taking a secret payment of $1.5 million while chairman of the Wellington Tenths Trust.

At the High Court in Wellington, Justice Graham Lang said the maximum penalty for the charge was seven years’ imprisonment?and an appropriate starting point would be four years nine months. Had Love been the sole offender, the judge said he would have accepted a starting point of five-to-five-and-a-half years?but lowered it because of Lorraine Skiffington’s involvement.

“I don’t know what kind of influence she had?but the fact she must have had some influence is the only inference to be drawn after you led such a blameless life in the past. What you cannot escape is Ms Skiffington was not a trustee,” Justice Lang said.

“The most important factor is the fact that your offending involves a gross breach of trust,” the judge said. “The other trustees left it to you to deal solely with the developers. You took advantage of the trust they placed in you to acquire a very substantial sum of money.” ?

Justice Lang said Love was entitled to a 30% discount, or 18 months, for his historical contributions to Maoridom.

“For more than 40 years you have devoted yourself selflessly” to Maori development, the judge said. “Those actions make you an inspirational leader in Maoridom so you are entitled to very significant credit for that.”

Love’s health conditions merited a further discount of nine months, the judge said.

“The issues you present with can be managed within a prison environment, However, your admission will need to be carefully managed.” Justice Lang said Love will need to be closely monitored.

The judge chose not to give a further discount that would make Love eligible for home detention, saying the sentence was designed to be a deterrent and that he didn’t see Love acknowledged the damage he had caused.

“I do not see any remorse for what has occurred,” Justice Lang said.

A discount for his long, long years of a five finger discount. I bet there were more instances of his feather-bedding.


I struggle to see why the money wasn’t reefed back off the ratbag.

The SFO has signalled that they are looking at others in a similar position.

But two and half years, which is likely to only be 18 months seems a bargain for that amount of coin.

His last contribution to Maori will be reinforcing Maori crime rates and imprisonment. Well done.