web analytics

Due diligence on Whanau Ora?

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, November 18th, 2010 - 9 comments
Categories: accountability, maori party, national - Tags: ,

What is Whanau Ora? No one quite knows, but it has been allocated $134 million to distribute to community providers over the next 4 years. Will these providers be accountable for the funding that they receive? Back in April Marty G raised a red flag:

Whanau Ora is, apparently, about giving a big pile of money to private groups under so-called ‘high trust’ contracts and expecting them to get on and deliver a whole range of public services that have previously been the responsibility of accountable government departments, or, more likely, clip the ticket as the actual services are still delivered by the State.

What could go wrong? Quite a bit …

We’ve seen that corruption is too frequent when public money is dished over to unaccountable, unprofessional organisations. Worse, this National government is too lazy to act when corruption is brought to its attention.

Someone should buy Marty a cigar, because his assessment was spot on. Yesterday the Taeaomanino Trust (based at Porirua in the topical Mana electorate) was very much in the news: “Trust inquiry as $100,000 goes missing”, and “Ministers met members of under-investigation trust”. I found both articles a bit confusing with respect to the sequence of events, but by reordering quotes from both sources I think the following timeline is correct:

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

March 2009: “Taeaomanino Trust Operations manager Ifopo So’o was dismissed in March 2009 after he admitted stealing around $107,000.”

November 2009: “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.”

April 2010: “… the trust was awarded a $500,000 Family Start contract to provide home-based services to about 100 struggling families.”

August 2010: “However, in August another community organisation, concerned about MSD’s response to the allegations, contacted police, who are now investigating.”

???? 2010: “However, Richard Wood, head of Family and Community Services at MSD, said an initial review was carried out by Child, Youth and Family and involved inquiries with Porirua police. Its findings did not “warrant laying a complaint with police.” … “Mr Wood said the ministry was not aware police were investigating. “As soon as the ministry became aware of allegations against the trust we took decisive steps to thoroughly investigate. “Throughout this investigation concerns about business viability and programme quality standards were substantiated. However, the trust took the steps necessary to remedy these problems and, as a result, was granted approval status.”

October 2010: “… Taeaomanino was selected as a provider for the controversial Whanau Ora scheme, in a contract thought to be worth up to $1 million.”

So the Nats have allocated around $1 million Whanau Ora funding to an organisation whose ethical record is highly dodgy to say the least. (A Mana based organisation which also just happened to endorse the Nats’ candidate in the Mana by-election.) It’s not a good look. What do they have to say about it? This:

“Bennett is currently overseas and Judith Collins is acting Minister. A spokeswoman said she was unable to comment because there is a police investigation underway.

Key said Whanau Ora contract providers had to go through a rigorous process. “That trust will have had to go through the same scrutiny that all of the other providers have and on that basis I’d be confident they have met their obligations there.”

A spokeswoman for Tariana Turia, the Minister responsible for Whanau Ora, said: “Minister Turia has absolute confidence in the Trust and is more than confident that a rigorous and robust process was followed when determining the successful Whanau Ora providers.”

So Key and Turia insist that all is well and that the Trust has been through a “rigorous” process. But Collins can’t comment because a police investigation is under way! How can Key’s process be “rigorous” if there is still an open police investigation? Why didn’t they wait until the investigation was complete before handing over a further $1 million? How can Turia have “absolute confidence” in a Trust with such a chequered history? Is this an example of the kind of accountability that the government promised for Whanau Ora?

9 comments on “Due diligence on Whanau Ora?”

  1. “Minister Turia has absolute confidence in the Trust”

    After a significant theft, a dammning forensic investigation by Deloittes and an ongoing fraud investigation by the Police? She is taking the mickey??

    National’s use of public money to shore up support in the ethnic sector has happened before. Remember PEDA?

    • Bored 1.1

      Mickey, of course Turiana has confidence…confidence that her right wing mates will do the best with our money. They have a lot of good role models from all sorts of backgrounds, bankers for example who can show them how to rort the public purse, and get bailed out in order to pay even bigger bonuses. Quite frankly whether we are talking Maori or Martians the end result will be the same. The money will get rorted, and the intended recipients will be short changed.

  2. tc 2

    It all a matter of interpretation y’ know like currency trading and bonds/derivatives provides economic benefit etc:
    “That trust will have had to go through the same scrutiny that all of the other providers have and on that basis I’d be confident they have met their obligations there.”
    that’d be the same scrutiny ‘providers’ like federated farmers/bus rountable/insurance council/dairy and alcohol industry go through.

    ““Minister Turia has absolute confidence in the Trust ” being trust they’ll do the right thing by their current funders….national and maori.

    The stench eminating from this gov’t just gets whiffier every day….imagine how high it’d be if we had a media that actually held them accountable……crazy talk I know.

  3. deemac 3

    funny how this huge story seems to have dropped off the radar as far as the MSM are concerned…
    Tho I did find this update tucked away: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4356729/Reviewer-jumps-ship-to-trust
    it just gets murkier all the time!

  4. freedom 4

    1: “Ms Hill’s only involvement with the trust during her employment with Child, Youth and Family was a professional one ”

    That line deserves a little investigation by a journalist, anyone know if there are any left?

    2: “”As a result of the review, we were satisfied that no ministry funds had been spent inappropriately. The staff member involved resigned and is repaying the money.”

    if no funds had been spent inappropriately, what is he paying back?

  5. Sera 5

    From what I read one employee was responsible and he was dismissed and since then they have passed a number of audits. Unfortunately the misappropriation of funds happens to alot of businesses and even within govt departments – to jump to the assumption that the entire service is corrupt is a gross exageration….and on another note – this matter happend over a year ago – isnt it funny it comes out now! You lefties talk as though you are there for the people – but you are obviously not aware of the amount of work Taeaomanino has done for the Porirua community – the very community you people claim to care about. What a joke

    • freedom 5.1

      Sera, i believe the focus of people’s questioning of the events is not about the overall integrity of Taeaomanino Trust, it is more the decisions around its funding.

      that said, i stand by my question
      “if no funds had been spent inappropriately, what is he paying back?”

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Nope, one director was found, and admitted, defrauding ~$100k from us. Then more questions were asked and an audit done showing that even more had been stolen from us by the other director (the first ones wife) and then more questions were asked and a police investigation started.

  6. randal 6

    this is just giving money away to poltical supporters.
    do these people have any university or polytech training in either medicine or admistration?
    I dont think so.
    it all sounds good on the hustings but the truth is its just a sham and a buyoff for the clingons to the tories.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
    The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires. “The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Reducing the cost of education
    Twenty-two more schools have opted into the Government’s policy of providing $150 per child to schools who don’t ask parents for donations– bringing the total number of schools in the policy to 1,585. The Ministry of Education has accepted late opt ins past the November 14 deadline from schools that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago