The High Court in Auckland has ordered that the former Governor of Vava’u, Lord Fulivai and his wife repay a New Zealand businessman $253,370.60.
Mr Justice Venning entered judgement against the couple following an application for summary judgement against the Fulivais by company director Christopher Barrett.
The Honourable Justice Venning ruled that the Fulivais must repay the money paid to them by Barrett to make land available to him, together with interest dating to January 1, 2018; repayment of loans with interests and costs for the entire proceedings.
In his affidavit Barrett said that the king’s noble told him he had considerable influence in being able to facilitate the granting of leases of land in Vava’u and made various other promises.
“In particular, he gave me assurances for the granting of a 99-year lease of land on an island called Pangaimotu in Vava’u for which I was to pay $170,000,” Barrett said.
“Part of these monies were to be used to pay off persons who were presently occupying that land.”
Barrett said he did not receive any lease and the defendants were therefore in breach of the agreement.
Lee Latu, an Australian woman who ran a restaurant on the block of land Barrett was interested in, said she was told by Lord Fulivai to vacate the land. In an affidavit she said she was given three months to leave the land, but never received any money.
Barrett said Lord Fulivai made various attempts to grant leases of other pieces of land in Vava’u.
“Looking back on the matter now, I can see that I was duped,” Barrett said.
“Having given me these assurances of the granting of various leases in land, I received a series of requests from both defendants seeking loans from me over the following years. Unfortunately, I naively trusted them and made loans to them as requested from time to time.
“In general, the loans were agreed to be repaid shortly after they were made although there was no particular time for that to happen. They were certainly repayable on demand.”
Barret said he paid money into Lady Fulivai’s bank account in Otahuhu, Auckland in April 2015. Police investigations showed the money was promptly withdrawn. Other payments were transferred to accounts owned by Lady Fulivai.
New Zealand Police had investigated claims against the Fulivais and charged them with obtaining money by deception.
A statement lodged with the court by Barrett’s legal representative said Lord Fulivai had admitted responsibility to repay the $170,000 and $21,500 in loans. The Fulivais had agreed to take no further action in the proceedings.
Kākaa’i ‘e Looti Fulivai mo hono uaifi’ ha tangata pisinisi Nu’u Sila ‘i he pa’anga laui kilu pea kuo tu’utu’uni ‘a e Fakamaau’anga High Court ‘a ‘Okalani’, ke na totongi fakafoki ‘a e tola ‘e ua kilu tupu ($253,370.60) kia Christopher Barrett. Pehē ‘e Barett ne kākaa’i ia ‘e he nōpele’ ni mo hono mali’ tokua te ne tokoni ange ke lisi hano kelekele ‘i Pangaimotu, Vava’u ‘osi ange hala ke ma’u ha kelekele. Ne fakapapau ange ‘a Fulivai ‘e ‘oange ‘a e kelekele ‘eka ‘e 99 fe’unga mo e $170,000 pea ko e konga ai ke totongi’i ‘aki ‘a e tokotaha ne ne ‘osi lolotonga lisi ‘e ia ‘a e kelekele’ kae mavahe mei ai ka e foaki ia kia Barrett. Pehē ‘e he tokotaha ne ne ‘osi lisi e konga’ ko ‘eni’ ko e fefine ko Lee Latu ne fekau ange mei a Fulivai ke mavahe ka ne ‘ikai ‘oange ha silini ia. Ne tuku ia kae toutou fakapapau’i ange pe ‘e Fulivai ‘e toe ‘i ai pe ngaahi kelekele kehe ‘e lisi ange ma’ana. ‘I he taimi tatau hū ai pe ‘ena toutou kole pa’anga kia Barett ka ne ‘ikai pe ma’u ha kelekele ia. ‘Oku lolotonga ‘i Nu’u Sila’ ni foki ‘a e ongo Fulivai’ pea ‘i he fakatotolo ‘a e kau polisi Nu’u Sila’ ne ma’u ai ‘a hono fakahū ‘o e pa’anga’ ki ha ‘akauni ‘a e uaifi’ Heleni, ‘i ha’ane pangikē ‘i ‘Otāhuhu. Na’e faka’ilo ai kinaua pea fakahā ‘e Looti Fulivai kuo’ ne mo’ua ke totongi fakafoki ‘a e pa’anga’ ni.