$1mil Whanau Ora funding for Parata supporters

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, November 17th, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: corruption - Tags: , ,

What little we know of Whanau Ora is that it is essentially the privatisation of government delivery of social services to private groups. Rather than deliver services themselves, government departments entrust taxpayer funds to small groups that often have little or no track record to do the job instead. It’s an invitation for corruption.

The Taeaomanino Trust is one such group. It has received up to $1.5 million to give unspecified assistance to 1000 families. Here’s the article:

A taxpayer-funded trust – awarded Government contracts worth up to $1.5 million – is being investigated by police after more than $100,000 went missing.

Taeaomanino Trust, based at Porirua, faces allegations about over-inflated expense claims and senior managers employing relatives and then pocketing their salaries.

The trust has received support from high-profile people, including Prime Minister John Key, former Labour MP Winnie Laban, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia and the National MP Hekia Parata, whom it endorsed this week as Mana by-election candidate.

Ifopo So’o, who founded the trust with his wife, Paula Masoe, was dismissed in March last year after $107,000 went missing.

Ms Masoe’s daughter, Gerardine Clifford, is chief executive of the trust and it has employed a number of their relatives.

As soon as you see some little-known organisation staffed by family members taking in taxpayer funds to deliver vaguely defined services, you’ve got to start worrying.

When a series of allegations surfaced about Ms Masoe, the Social Development Ministry commissioned independent forensic accountant Deloitte to investigate. Its findings – in November 2009 – were damning…

…The Deloitte report investigated 10 allegations about the trust and its staff. It found:

Two relatives of Mr So’o and Ms Masoe were employed as cleaners but did not clean at the trust. Their wages were diverted into accounts held in Ms Masoe and Mr So’o’s name.

Ms Masoe claimed expenses of $3500 for a carpet but there was no evidence it was laid.

$5058 was claimed for accommodation and training – but no receipts provided.

The trust’s New World card was used to buy baby wipes, lamb chops, salmon fillets, fruit and vegetables.

Expenses were claimed for cigarettes and magazines. Ms Masoe claimed $4500 for use of her personal vehicle.

Ms Masoe was overpaid for 93 days of leave.

Wow. You would think that the ministers would want someone’s head on a spike over that. But no.

Six months later the trust was awarded a $500,000 Family Start contract to provide home-based services to about 100 struggling families. Last month Taeaomanino was selected as a provider for the controversial Whanau Ora scheme, in a contract thought to be worth up to $1 million.

So last month, this corrupt outfit gets a pile of money thanks to Tariana Turia and the National government and this month they’re out campaigning for the National Party candidate, supported by Turia. Funny that.

However, in August another community organisation, concerned about MSD’s response to the allegations, contacted police, who are now investigating.

Detective Sergeant Brent Clark confirmed: “Waitangirua CIB are investigating a complaint in relation to the Taeaomanino Trust, around allegations of misappropriation of money.”

The government failed to do its job. Fortunately, another NGO saw these people ripping off a system that is meant to help the most needy and called the Police.

With a by-election just days away, you would say that the last thing Parata wants right now is the endorsement of a corrupt outfit. But, then, she is hoping to be invited into Cabinet, which amounts to much the same thing these days.

30 comments on “$1mil Whanau Ora funding for Parata supporters”

  1. bbfloyd 1

    i guess we can look forward to this being exposed comprehensively by our utterly unbiased fourth column? Or is it not blatant enough yet to be worthy of making the news?

  2. Tigger 2

    Where are you quoting from Marty?

    My fave part of this is claiming for cigarettes…great look for a health based trust…

    [Link added to OP – thanks Blighty. — r0b]

  3. ianmac 3

    Sorry bbfloyd. The MSM is very busy with a Princely engagement.

      • Carol 3.1.1

        And some of the most pertinent bits, show that the Nats and MP were supporting the Trust and giving them contracts, long after a series of allegations of mismanagement, cronyism & corruption

        An investigation by forensic accountants Deloitte later revealed a series of other allegations about inflated expense claims, senior managers employing relatives and staff leave.

        However, less than a year later the trust was awarded government contracts thought to be worth up to $1.7m by the Social Development Ministry.

        Prime Minister John Key met staff members of Trust earlier this year, its annual report reveals. The Trust was invited to participate in a business expo organised by National MP and Mana by-election candidate Hekia Parata and the Pacific Business Trust. …

        Pacific Island Affairs, Georgina Te HeuHeu visited the Kenepuru-based trust to launch a Youth Initiatives Programme.

        And Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia was a guest. “This was a wonderful opportunity for us to find out first hand, what the Minister’s intentions are for Whanau Ora and how Pacific peoples fit into this picture. We spent some time talking about the Pacific model of care that we developed at Taeaomanino.”

        The trust was announced as a Whanau Ora provider in October. It is thought the contract is worth up to $1m.

        It was also awarded a Family Start contract in June, thought to be worth around $500,000.

        The Government first became aware of allegations about Taeaomanino in February 2009, when a worried social worker contacted Finance Minister Bill English.

        The correspondence was forwarded on to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

      • ianmac 3.1.2

        With his hand on the little girl’s shoulder. What! Well it worked during the 2008 Election!

    • bbfloyd 3.2

      of course… thanks for reminding me… i feel terrible now. how could i have been so insensitive..

  4. Gee no wonder the trust is supporting National.

    Whanau Ora could potentially be a worthwhile police. The proposal that local on the ground organisations be funded to deliver services can work but the responsibilities and accountabilities have to be clear.

    This sort of news where it appears that funding has been abused will kill the scheme however.

  5. deemac 5

    oddly the DomPost has picked up on this story but not the Herald yet.
    It stinks – I predict it is much murkier even than the Pansy Wong affair!

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Why wasn’t this “trust” closed down and the directors jailed after the first instance of fraud?

  7. Phil Mickelson 7

    Why is no-one focusing on the trust that made the complaint? They have been angling for this money for ages and using all kinds of dirty tactics to get a hold of it. And how come this comes out three days before a local by-election when this is relatively old news? Smacks of political opportunitism.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Yeah, and how come at the end of scooby-doo when the would be buyer of the abandoned fairground complains that he would have got away with his scheme to lower the price by pretending to be ghost if it wasn’t for those meddling kids, no one pays him any attention whatsoever. It’s bias I tells ya.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      They may have been after the money, nothing wrong with that as they also provide the same services, but there would be something wrong if they had noticed the fraud and didn’t do anything about it.

      • Dragon 7.2.1

        Regardless of political opportunism, or who shopped them in… isn’t the issue that it happened??? Taxpayers money has been stolen AGAIN. If it hadn’t happened there wouldn’t be anything to tell.

  8. higherstandard 8

    What, are you surprised ? Did you believe that coconuts aren’t just as good at rorting the system as the honkies ?

    • Dragon 8.1

      If it was a Maori org they would have been front page they day after it happened and already charged through the courts adding to those Maori stats…

  9. Phil Mickelson 9

    Pascal’s bookie, nice retort but I didn’t notice anyone saying they didn’t do it.

    • felix 9.1

      So what? How does that change any of the facts?

      Are you even disputing any of the facts?

    • Pascal's bookie 9.2

      nice retort but I didn’t notice anyone saying they didn’t do it

      nah, but I never said anything about that.

      I was alluding to you saying words to the effect of ‘Hey what about the people who pointed out the scandal huh? What about them huh? They’re dodgy. That’s pretty dodgy isn’t it?”

      What is there to say?
      If the accusers are dodgy and using some dirty tricks then bad on them I suppose. But I’d like to know if the dirty tricks amount to more than pointing a journalist towards a story at an inopportune time for the government, because there is not much wrong with that.

  10. swordfish 10

    Call me a shameless self-promoter if you wish, but can I just say that I made the following comment on the ‘Different Approaches to Campaigning in Mana’ (November 11) thread on this site (regarding By-Election endorsements of Parata by so-called “Porirua community leaders”):
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    (November 11 comment):

    “Deputy-Dawg, Liz Kelly, is a right-leaning Porirua city councillor and Mana businesswoman. So no surprises there.

    Although “journalist”, Andrea Vance (this is her second blatantly-biased article on the Mana by-election), tells us that “local leaders” suggested Fa’afoi’s lack of experience is seen as a drawback, the only other “local leader” she mentions (apart from city councillor, Wayne Poutoa, who favours Fa’afoi) is “Samoan community leader, Paula Masoe.” Suspect Masoe is a Tory, but can’t be sure. She certainly features in a photo on Parata’s National Party webpage.

    Masoe appears to manage the Taeomanino Trust-provided Family Start programme, funded by the Ministry of Social Development. There’s some interesting stuff on the internet about a long-running employment dispute, in which (ultimately unproven) allegations were made against her by fellow staff.” (end of comment)
    —————————————————————————————————————-

    I was prompted to do this wee bit of googling by the memory that – in the run-up to the 2008 General Election – similar spurious predictions of some supposedly wholesale Pasifika swing to National were made by one or two National-leaning Pasifika people in both South Auckland and Porirua, backed-up by local Nat Party Electorate officials and loudly broadcast in the media.

    In the event, there appears to have been no swing whatsoever to the Nats by Pasifikas in 2008. Roughly a quarter-to-a-third went to Philip Field’s Pacific Party in Mangere, with smaller proportions swinging to the PP in Manurewa and Manukau East (and virtually none in Mana = a mere 189 Party-Votes). But little or no swing to the Nats.

    So, I just had that feeling that Masoe was one of that tiny minority of Pasifika Nats, pretending to speak for the whole of her community: Dominion Post: “Samoan community leader Paula Masoe said Ms Parata had won over a lot of Pasifika supporters. “She’s a hard worker and we respect people who work hard for our community.”” . Masoe went on to talk about Fa’afoi not being ready yet/”I don’t want the sweat of our people to be put on someone who’s not ready yet.”/and that there was a “strong feeling” among Pasifikas that he’s being “imposed” on Pasifika people.

    My brief bit of googling took me to a series of Wellington Employment Relations Authority reports from 2009 and 2010 which suggested the 10 allegations of “serious misconduct” against Masoe related to “alleged dishonesty, misappropriation of funds, failure to follow purchasing processes, falsification of records and other serious misconduct.”

    These reports also mentioned that the Ministry of Social Development had put in place a new competitive tender process for the on-going delivery of the programme. I couldn’t find any information on how successful the Taeaomanino Trust was in securing the contract, but my guess was, of course, that they were successful and hence the glowing endorsement of Parata.

    (Farrar, incidently, placed great emphasis on Masoe’s endorsement on Kiwiblog. Dear oh dear).

    Most amusing of all, dear old Tracy “John loves Bronagh” Watkins tells us in today’s DomPost (‘Big Parties Both Ignore Mana’s Safe-Seat Tag’) that “National’s expectations appear to have been buoyed by its candidate, Hekia Parata, winning over some key Pacific Island leaders…” Ah, yeah, Tracy, that would be precisely the same “Pacific Island leader” who appears on the front page of the same issue of your newspaper, facing very serious allegations.

  11. tc 11

    Oh so that’s what Whanau Ora is about….makes perfect sense now for a moment I thought the nats were wanting to improve service delivery but I see it’s business as usual….look after your bent mates.

  12. Bunji 12

    The intrigue continues. That doesn’t look good.

  13. Jeff 13

    I hear the Trust is fine, they have a brand new chair and board doing a clean up.

    • Dragon 13.1

      If thats the case isn’t one of the offenders (Paula Masoe) still working there? Isn’t the Chair’s husband that guy who was busted in the Immigration scandal? kurupe or something like that. The apples don’t fall far from THAT tree!

  14. Dragon 14

    Pacific people deserve better representation and support than these arrogant, corrupt, inept crooked coconuts. They should have been brought down years ago. They use bullying techniques in the community with their Samoan mafia in tow.

    I agree with earlier blog… who cares who turned it in. If they weren’t guilty there would be nothing to ‘turn in’

    [Overt racism in this comment. Will let it through, but it isn’t appreciated here. –r0b]
    [lprent: I think I’d have filed it in the round cabinet.. ]

  15. Rally 15

    I agree who cares who told the papers,the truths out there now and we can now see how disgusting this woman and her husband really are!!!!!!

    I attended the meeting where Masoe said the following about Parata, “She’s a hard worker and we respect people who work hard for our community.”” ( I’m sorry how hard did you work Paula??? What would you know about hard work??) . Masoe went on to talk about Fa’afoi not being ready yet/”I don’t want the sweat of our people to be put on someone who’s not ready yet.”/and that there was a “strong feeling” among Pasifikas that he’s being “imposed” on Pasifika people. I don’t understand then why she would want to waste the sweat of our people jetting of to Fiji, Samoa up to 3 times a year and not to forget Ms Masoe was overpaid for 93 days of leave!!! I hope she is no longer seen as a “Local Leader” but both her and her husband are seen for the fraudsters they really are.

    I wonder where they are hiding now.
    Most probably run off to hide somewhere in Samoa from all the shame. I hope she enjoyed the lamb chops, I’m not too sure you can get them in jail.

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    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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