Dis­pute far­ci­cal

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

The power strug­gle at the Porirua Whanau Cen­tre makes for baf­fling read­ing. The so­cial ser­vice provider an­nounced a name change, from Can­nons Creek Fanau Cen­tre, in Novem­ber last year, to re­flect a broad­en­ing fo­cus to­wards city- wide ser­vices, and from child (fanau) to fam­ily (whanau) ser­vices.

Be­fore the paint was dry on the new sign, there were threats of le­gal ac­tion from the Whanau Cen­tre’s com­mu­nity coun­cil, which claimed the board of trustees had also med­dled with the trust – and none of it in line with its strate­gic vi­sion.

The com­mu­nity coun­cil sacked the board of trustees and in­stalled a new one, but the old board and Whanau Cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive Liz Kelly con­tin­ued busi­ness as usual. They dis­missed the com­mu­nity coun­cil’s al­le­ga­tions, say­ing ev­ery­thing was above board.

It left the Whanau Cen­tre with a board of trustees and a pseudo board of trustees, but which was which de­pended on who you talked to.

In De­cem­ber a pe­ti­tion bear­ing 600 sig­na­tures was put to Porirua City Coun­cil by res­i­dent Rob Piva, seek­ing an in­quiry. There was con­cern the com­mu­nity’s own­er­ship and gov­er­nance of the ser­vice had been hi­jacked.

Porirua City Coun­cil rightly de­cided last week to keep its nose out of it, how­ever, we would have ex­pected Fam­ily Ser­vices to show some in­ter­est by now.

I’m not sure at what point John Cleese should have walked into this brouhaha and hollered ‘‘Manuel!’’, but it was prob­a­bly be­fore the Whanau Cen­tre, still un­der the threat of le­gal ac­tion, de­cided to un­der­write a mu­sic fes­ti­val or­gan­ised by Ms Kelly – who is also ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer to Porirua Health­links Trust. We’re pleased as any­one to see Creek­fest rise again, but the Whanau Cen­tre’s fo­cus should be on get­ting its own house in or­der.

Matthew Dal­las, Ed­i­tor.

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