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Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By ES­THER LAUAKI

Te Roopu Awhina ki Porirua Trust (TRA) chief ex­ec­u­tive Tahi Tait, for­mer em­ployer of Taeao­manino Trust founder Paula Ma­soe, says more ques­tions need to be an­swered by the Pa­cific or­gan­i­sa­tion which is un­der po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion in re­la­tion to a $100,000 spend­ing scan­dal.

TRA was con­tracted by the Min­istry of So­cial Devel­op­ment to pro­vide a Fam­ily Start so­cial pro­gramme and had a part­ner­ship with Taeao­manino Trust, which pro­vided the Pa­cific arm of the ser­vices.

The part­ner­ship ceased in June 2009 when the al­le­ga­tions arose of funds be­ing mis­ap­pro­pri­ated.

It was re­ported in last week’s Kapi-Mana News, and also in a state­ment from Taeao­manino chair Liz Tanielu, that the damn­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the trust was spurred by an em­ploy­ment dis­pute be­tween Ms Ma­soe and TRA.

Mr Tait re­futed this. He said the ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion was sep­a­rate from the em­ploy­ment dis­pute and the chair was ‘‘de­flect­ing from the is­sue of what hap­pened to the money?’’.

‘‘There are a lot of unan­swered ques­tions that need to ad­dressed . . . If a con­fes­sion was made to say $100,000 was stolen, why wasn’t the mat­ter im­me­di­ately re­ferred to the po­lice? In this coun­try we’re so hard on ben­e­fi­ciary fraud, so what makes them so dif­fer­ent?

‘‘[ TRA], like all other pub­lic­funded agen­cies, need to be very trans­par­ent, even more so if there are whanau in­volved in the or­gan­i­sa­tion. These things hap­pen, it’s un­for­tu­nate that they hap­pen, but if they do, it’s re­ally about restor­ing the com­mu­nity’s con­fi­dence. It’s im­por­tant that the trust acts promptly, proac­tively and is seen to be act­ing re­spon­si­bly.’’

He said ‘‘the com­mu­nity want to know how could this have hap­pened?’’.

Ms Tanielu could not be reached for com­ment by press time.

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