No answers yet
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.