Taeao­manino Trust woes get mixed re­sponse from clients

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By ES­THER LAUAKI

There have been mixed re­ac­tions from Taeao­manino Trust’s clients fol­low­ing me­dia re­ports that the govern­ment-funded or­gan­i­sa­tion is un­der po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion for mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds.

Taeao­manino Trust pro­vides ser­vices to the Pa­cific com­mu­nity in Porirua, with a fo­cus on so­cial ser­vices and mental health. In the past 12 months it has as­sisted over 1000 fam­i­lies.

Porirua res­i­dent Maui Kie was re­ferred to the trust by the court to re­ceive coun­selling ear­lier this year and says the al­le­ga­tions have not hin­dered his sup­port for Taeao­manino.

‘‘I got my­self into some trou­ble and I’ve only dealt with my councillor Thomas Isaako . . . I think the best thing about this or­gan­i­sa­tion is that they’re re­ally un­der­stand­ing to­wards the Pa­cific Is­land peo­ple and a lot of the things they teach over there are im­por­tant for us, like fam­ily val­ues.

‘‘I’m learn­ing a lot about my­self and what kind of di­rec­tion I should take as a per­son and as a fa­ther. If it was a Pakeha ser­vice I don’t think I would be as com­fort­able shar­ing as I am with Taeao­manino.’’

Can­nons Creek mother of eight Christina Latu was re­ferred to Taeao­manino by the Sal­va­tion Army while she was liv­ing in emer­gency hous­ing three years ago.

She told Kapi-Mana News she felt ‘‘judged’’ from the moment she met trust founder Paula Ma­soe.

‘‘I know I have a lot of chil­dren, but in my first meet­ing with Paula Ma­soe, as she was shak­ing my hand, she said, ‘ You should learn to keep your legs closed’. From then on I knew I didn’t want to deal with Taeao­manino.’’

A let­ter to Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Bill English from so­cial worker Carolyn Har­vey, in­clud­ing an ac­count of this in­ci­dent, prompted the ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion in 2008. Mrs Latu was re­ferred to a Fam­ily Start par­ent­ing pro­gramme which she had al­ready com­pleted twice.

‘‘That was the only as­sis­tance I got from Taeao­manino . . . The help I did re­ceive was no use to me. Paula’s come in and out of our lives a few times in the last three years, but I haven’t had a good ex­pe­ri­ence at all. I didn’t choose to deal with them any fur­ther.’’

Ms Ma­soe could not be reached for com­ment be­fore press time.

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