Education consultant admits $150k fraud
A former education consultant for Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi has admitted pocketing about $150,000 in secret commissions.
Katherine Tuhakaraina pleaded guilty to a charge of "receiving secret reward for procuring contracts" at the Tauranga District Court on Tuesday.
Her guilty plea came midway through her trial.
Katherine admitted receiving about $150,000 in kickbacks from Koa Consultants who delivered an education course to the wānanga.
The 60-year-old recommended the wānanga award Koa Consultants the contract, knowing she would get a share of the consultants' profits if they got the work.
The wānanga was unaware of Tuhakaraina's agreement or that she had any personal interest in Koa Consultants being awarded the work.
Katherine was remanded on bail and will reappear for sentencing on May 5.
Serious Fraud Office director Julie Read said Tuhakaraina deceived her employer to obtain funds provided to the education sector from the Crown.
"Her offending was corrupt and a gross breach of trust," Julie says in a statement.