Lord and Lady Fulivai have been served with a demand for payment of more than a quarter of a million dollars owed to Auckland businessman Christopher Barrett.
The Fulivais have been pursued over non-payment of fees and expenses incurred during business deals with Barrett.
As Kaniva News reported in October last year, the High Court in Auckland ordered that the former Governor of Vava’u and his wife repay Barrett $253,370.60, the equivalent of $TP407,777.
The couple were also served with an affadavit showing that the Tongan Supreme Court had allowed the New Zealand judgement to be registered in the central registry of the Supreme Court under the terms of a reciprocal enforcement of judgements order.
The Fulivais were served with an affadavit on Saturday at their home in Mangere Bridge in Auckland.
The Honourable Justice Venning ruled in the New Zealand High Court last year that the Fulivais must repay the money together with interest dating back to January 1, 2018; repayment of loans with interests and costs for the entire proceedings.
In evidence submitted to the court Barrett said the Governor 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.
Barrett said Lord Fulivai made various promises to grant leases of other pieces of land in Vava’u.
“I was duped,” he 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.”
New Zealand Police 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 last October.
Documents showed that Lord Fulivai used the King’s name and that of the Prime Minister and Health Minister Saia Piukala in his dealings with Barratt.
Last year Barrett told Kaniva News he was also pursuing Lord Fulivai and his Seattle-based cousin Micheal Thomson for $550,000 for work on a yellow fin tuna project.
The project was intended to establish open water fish farms off Hunga Island through a company called Horizon Deep International.
Documents seen by Kaniva News show that Lord Fulivai was sent a bill for US$340,200 through Pacific Consultants and Construction Ltd on August 31 last year.
The bill included consultation services, preparation of documents for investors and loans and financial advances for Lord and Lady Fulivai. The latter came to more than US$30,000.
Barratt told Kaniva News that Lord Fulivai had ignored demands for payment and he would chase the couple for repayment.