UPDATED: Supporters of Reverend Faka’osi Hau, who is an outspoken critic of his Tokaikolo Church leader President Dr Liufau Vailea Saulala, have applauded the court decision ordering fraudster David John Hobbs to pay $500,000 and be disqualified permanently from operating any registered financial activities.
Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, a member of the Tokaikolo and strong advocate of Rev Faka’osi Hau told Kaniva News that, “All of us in the Tokaikolo Church Family are thankful that this matter comes to an end, as damages to the relationships between members went deeper and deeper each day. We were waiting with great pains to hear this final conclusion for this saga. It had damaged the spiritual lives of many in the church,”
The NSW High Court decision made on 21 February is a major step forward in a legal action taken by Reverend Hau in a New Zealand Court seeking court’s decision to bring President Saulala to justice and be made responsible for allegation relating to abuse of power.
Last year Reverend Faka’osi Hau in a Fakavahekolo Meeting at their Mangere Church in Auckland moved a motion calling on President Dr Saulala to step down and that an external auditor be appointed to investigate the Church’s annual financial reports.
Reverend Hau, who was once employed by the Tokaikolo as an office manager in their Mangere Office, later told media that President Saulala allegedly authorised almost a million of their church money to be spent on two unwise deals understood to be with Mannatech and Omega Trust which were on two separate occasions investigated by New Zealand media around 2005.
He also accused Dr Saulala of investing another million of Tokaikolo money in Hobbs’s Ponzi Scheme which the NSW court’s decision implies has been lost in fraud. Reverend Hau was eventually dismissed by Tokaikolo authorities for drawing attention to this investment.
Dr Tu’i’onetoa, who is also the Government of Tonga’s Auditor General, told Kaniva News that, “most of church members that have some understanding of the financial matters knew and expected from the beginning that this deal would end up this way and the church would lose all its money.”
Fears and demand for resignation
This vindicates Dr Tu’i’onetoa’s formal and repeated warnings to President Saulala regarding Hobbs’s Ponzi Scheme about 10 years ago but the President refused to accept it as truth.
Instead, Dr Saulala continued on to tell his Tokaikolo followers that Hobbs was, “given from God to produce wealth and prosperity to the Church.”
Rev Faka‘osi Hau has taken his hat off to the New South Wales Judge in her decision on Mr Hobbs. However he fears that Dr Saulala might authorise the Tokaikolo church fund to pay the swindler’s fine.
“President Saulala can do what he likes because his power is absolute over his followers and no one else could challenge him on that. In fact no-one knows anything about how the Church’s money is being used. Only Dr Saulala knows,” Rev Hau said.
Dr Tu’i’onetoa demanded President Saulala’s resignation from the presidency with “dignity” for the church’s lost investment stating that, “he should immediately and respectfully step down from presidency of the church. Otherwise he will be forced out of his position in a very disrespectful manner.”
Dr Liufau Vailea Saulala could not be reached for comment.