‘I’m emptied’: former Ngāi Tahu chairman fears lost investments as company investigates

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Former Ngāi Tahu chairman Tā Mark Solomon and his family and friends have lost millions of dollars in a company that is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The SFO raided several properties as part of an investigation into two Christchurch companies.

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The searches concerned an investigation into Thomas Alexander Tuira, known as Alex Tuira, and Aroha Awhinanui Tuira, as well as their companies Ngākau Aroha Investments Limited and Power to Me Aotearoa Tapui Limited.

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Solomon estimated that he, his family and friends invested around $ 2 million in Power to Me about 18 months ago.

The business was run by his cousin, Alex Tuira, who had helped him make good returns on his investment in the past.

But all contact with Tuira ceased about four months ago and Solomon now believes the money is lost.

“I am disgusted,” he said.

Alex Tuira, pictured here in 2012, has worked as an adult educator.

Dean Kozanic / Stuff

Alex Tuira, pictured here in 2012, has worked as an adult educator.

“We have no idea where they are hiding. It looks like my money is gone, and we’ll see what happens with the SFO.

“I know where they lived. They have now left this property and I have no idea where they are.

According to the Companies Office, Power to Me is behind in its obligation to file an annual return.

“If the annual report is not filed immediately, the registrar will take steps to remove the company from the register,” the Companies Office website says.

Sir Mark Solomon says he is

CHRIS SKELTON / Tips

Sir Mark Solomon says he is “gutted” by the loss of the money he, his family and friends have invested.

Among the company’s 34 shareholders are former Ngāi Tahu kaiwhakahaere (chairman) Mark Solomon, who owns a 2.71 percent stake, Ngāi Tahu chief operating officer Julian Wilcox, who jointly owns 5.31 percent one hundred with another person, and All Black Joe Moody, who owns 2.94 percent. Wilcox could not immediately be reached for comment. Moody declined to comment.

Power to Me and Ngākau Aroha Investments are both registered at an address in Burwood, Christchurch.

Another couple owns the house as well as a property next door.

One of the couples, who did not want to be named, said the Tuiras rented the house until about six months ago.

They said that the Tuiras first left for several weeks and stopped paying the rent. While they were away, a boat that was parked in front of the house was stolen and several people came to ask for money.

Upon their return, the Tuira had a meeting with the owners who asked them to leave.

The owners had since put a note on the front door stating: “Alex and Aroha Tuira (and their family) no longer live here. They moved around mid-March. This is not their home, and never has been. We are the owners and live next door … no sorry – we don’t have a new address.

On his LinkedIn page, Alex Tuira describes himself as an adult educator in financial literacy.

“With integrity, provide any person or entity that has identified the need to improve their financial situation with superior professional-grade financial literacy and a proven system of financial success to help them eliminate bad debt, build wealth and to offer a method and a lifelong culture to continue to enrich oneself and enrich others ”, indicates his message.

An archived biography of Tuira on the Power To Me website indicates that he completed a program from author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins, pictured.

Carlo Allegri for the Washington Post / Getty Images

An archived biography of Tuira on the Power To Me website indicates that he completed a program from author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins, pictured.

According to an archived version of the Power To Me website, the company was formed to teach people about financial literacy because of Turia’s “insatiable passion for helping her family learn to get out of debt.”

“Alex experienced first-hand the emotional damage debt can cause in a family. He grew up in a small Maori community in a small house where money was scarce, ”the website said.

A bio on the website states that Tuira is “a business and personal finance mentor and strategist who thrives on seeing others succeed.”

“I have had the privilege of being trained by some of the world’s most extraordinary masters in finance and business and now look forward to sharing my knowledge and expertise with you,” he wrote.

The website said Tuira completed the programs of Jordan Belford (known as The Wolf of Wall Street), motivational speaker Tony Robbins and Rich daddy, poor daddy author Robert Kiyosaki, among others.

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating two companies registered in Christchurch.

Provided

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating two companies registered in Christchurch.

The Serious Fraud Office spokeswoman said the agency would not comment further while its investigation was underway.

Power to Me Aotearoa Tapui Limited was incorporated in December 2019. According to the Companies Office, it specializes in curriculum development and education.

Ngākau Aroha Investments Limited was incorporated in 2015 and is a business advisory service.

Anyone with information that could help the investigation is invited to contact the Serious Fraud Office by sending an email to [email protected]

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