Ques­tion over fam­ily ap­point­ment

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Deputy mayor Liz Kelly has re­fused to dis­cuss the em­ploy­ment process that led to the ap­point­ment of son-in-law Stu Filo to a $38,000 so­cial work con­tract.

Kapi-Mana News re­ported last week that Mr Filo was em­ployed by Can­nons Creek’s Fanau Cen­tre as the sole youth worker for the re­vived Mid­night Ex­press youth outreach scheme. Ms Kelly man­ages the Fanau Cen­tre.

Both Porirua mayor Nick Leggett and coun­cil­lor Litea Ah Hoi have since ex­pressed con­cern whether Mr Filo was hired fairly.

Mid­night Ex­press was run by Porirua Healthy Safer Cities Trust un­til its fund­ing was frozen in late 2011. The ser­vice lay dor­mant un­til re­cent weeks, when the Fanau Cen­tre was awarded the re­main­ing $38,000 funds by the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment.

On Mr Filo’s ap­point­ment, Ms Kelly told us that she in­vited him to re­turn to New Zealand from a mil­i­tary post­ing in the Mid­dle East and ap­ply for the job. She said she stood back from the ac­tual hir­ing process.

But when Kapi-Mana News con­tacted Ms Kelly last week, she re­fused to com­ment on whether the job was ad­ver­tised, whether any other ap­pli­cants were con­sid­ered, and what Mr Filo’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions for the role were.

Fanau Cen­tre board mem­bers we con­tacted ei­ther re­fused to com­ment on the ap­point­ment or could not be reached.

Mr Filo him­self ex­pressed sur­prise at the al­le­ga­tions but said he did not have time be­tween youth work ap­point­ments to dis­cuss the mat­ter on Fri­day.

Mr Leggett, whose po­lit­i­cal re­la­tion­ship with Ms Kelly has soured in re­cent months, says the lack of trans­parency around Mr Filo’s ap­point­ment is not a good look for the city.

‘‘I think these kind of ap­point­ments need to be ‘squeaky clean’ in terms of the process, es­pe­cially given Liz’s role as a coun­cil­lor who pulled this fund­ing away from its ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tion,’’ he says.

‘‘We now have ques­tions emerg­ing like ‘was the job ad­ver­tised cor­rectly? What were the in­ter­nal pro­cesses fol­lowed?’’

He says Mr Filo ap­pears to be a good choice for the role, and the Fanau Cen­tre is an ap­pro­pri­ate provider of the Mid­night Ex­press ser­vice, but light needs to be shone on the ap­point­ments.

The Fanau Cen­tre was the only or­gan­i­sa­tion to bid for the Mid­night Ex­press fund­ing, Porirua Healthy Safer Cities Trust chair­woman Jenny Lester says. The Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment were solely re­spon­si­ble for award­ing the funds, she says.

A Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment spokesper­son says the min­istry is not re­spon­si­ble for em­ploy­ment mat­ters and re­ferred ques­tions to Ms Kelly.

There are in­di­ca­tions the min­istry did not re­quire project plans from the Fanau Cen­tre be­fore hand­ing it the Mid­night Ex­press con­tract, says Mr Leggett.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.