Wally could never resist getting his nose into tribal politics. Below is a copy of an undated email from Tahu Potiki to Wally Stone. Its written in 2006 before Potiki announced his departure in Nov 2006 before he actually left in March 2007. Its clear that Stone, Potiki Andrew Harrison the current Chief Operating Officer of NTHC conspired to undermine the authority of Tront and ultimately the shareholders.
The “Chair” referred to would be Wally. When Tront were split a Ngai Tahu Governance Board was formed consisting of Wally- as Chair, Mark Solomon, Te Marie Tau (these two representing the two faction of Tront) and an independent whose name I cannot remember) The board was eventually disbanded
“Kia ora Wally
Below is further work on our conversation although not completed. I have tried to gt (sic) it before the meeting tomorrow but I am aware that we ill (sic) not be able to discuss much of this at this point in time.
I will get Deb and Pip on to a full day together as soon as possible to discuss all of this as well as a couple of contractual issues. (we have to get some objectives for the year).
In writing this I have made the assumption that I will not be CEO after July next year, unless there is a need for me to stay on for a period of transition. This is based on the increasing unwillingness for certain parties to work with me, my view as to the outcome of any structural review and the subsequent need to have a more commercially competent CEO and my personal reluctance to continue working in a hostile environment.
Comment: At least Potiki admits his short comings
- This means that we lead a major internal initiative over the next few months that will allow most negative things internally to be associated with the outgoing CEO.
- All changes will be on behalf of, and agreement of the Chair but I will be seen to implement them.
- Greater emphasis will be placed on positive communication between the Chair and TRoNT and the emphasis will be on leading the organisation to a new found functionality.
- The changes will, to a certain extent, clear the pathway for other developments to occur
- If we are clear that I am leaving then I can be very political, direct and confrontational during this period things such as the removal of certain sub- committees, removing the provision for TRonT reps to sit on the NTHC board and dealing with politically controversial employees
Comment: Yeh Right – except he is serious “ –removal of certain sub-committees, removing the provision of TRonT reps to sit on NTHC board and dealing with politically controversial employees” Note to self – search River Avon for employees not seen for a long time!
- The internal tension can be released upon my departure but by then we will have achieved the necessary changes
Comment: Ah – a sacrificial lamb.
- At the same time I will increase my external and tribal leadership role as this will assist me to reintegrate back to a local leadership role
- This will allow me to provide cultural and political leadership at a runaka level, particularly in the Otago area and assist to integrate the next wave of development at the Runaka level
- This does lead us to consider a replacement CEO but there is a strong argument pointing to an Executive Director type role from the Ngai Tahu Group Board
- If that doesn’t happen there is a significant compromise to be arrived at around finding a Ngai Tahu person. A CEO led by a vision for the tribe and someone who has the relevant commercial or economic experience.
I have only briefly touched on the NTHC issues and shared services as I am aware that Andrew is working on this. I suggest Andrew join us for the half day when we meet”
What strikes me most is the recklessness and arrogance of this group. It could come from B grade movie script if it was not real.
Incidentally, not mentioned in this action plan was they did to Mark Solomon – heard this from an employee. Mark has a right, as Chair of Tront, to attend all NTHC Board meetings and attends when he can They failed to send him board papers or if they did only selected papers. Thus denying Tront of information about what was going on in NTHC.