Mana Recovery sad to lose funds
there have been surprises, too?
It’s about time the council listed all the land and buildings ratepayers own (including those we don’t own, but are responsible for), together with the revenue earned from them, repairs and maintenance spent on them over the last five years, and the value of deferred maintenance.
If the council advises that it doesn’t have this information, it would merely be confirming it is not qualified to own and manage property on behalf of ratepayers.
This council is so distracted with the city centre revitalisation, a project adversely affected by rising sea levels and tsunami risk, and in which no private financiers or investors are interested, that our core property and infrastructure has been forgotten.
Mana Recovery has provided living skills and vocational training and a day-activity programme for people with serious mental health needs for 18 years for the Capital & Coast District Health Board.
This funding has ceased because the board has contracted other non-government organisations to provide different services, in line with the new Te Ara Pai model, or Stepping Stones.
The programmes Mana Recovery has provided include teaching literacy and numeracy, art and craft classes, cooking, budgeting, writing CVs and job preparation.
The practical component includes learning the skills of recycling, such as assembling candles. Candles are great for occupational therapy because it teaches concentration and fine motor skills.
Mana Recovery’s programme also teaches work habits, including arriving on time and on days they say they will be there and taking breaks only at designated break times.
The programme is individually tailored to meet the goals of the trainee. Some may take months or longer to get to this stage.
The most important aspect of the daily activity is socialisation, meeting peers, having support, sharing morning tea and a hot kai that we cook together and share each week.
There is no pressure to work – it is designed to be fun and social.
Those ready and keen for work are encouraged to do a four-week work experience that resembles a work day. They are given a certificate of achievement and we actively help them look for work internally or externally.
We are increasing our business recycling contracts to replace our lost income and open new jobs for our trainees. We have just signed a contract with Masterpet in Lower Hutt to pick up and recycle its plastic.
Through this we have just provided a new job opportunity for one of our trainees who will work 2.5 hours a day, five days a week on full wages.
We also employ our trainees who have successfully completed the course – 22 of the 43 staff have come through the programme.
All employees are on an employment contract, on full pay, and many are members of the union.
Mana Recovery has always given an attendance allowance for people coming to the programme. This contribution has been selffunded and not funded through the District Health Board day activity programme.
The allowance is designed to cover travel costs because most of the trainees live in the community and catch public transport.
They are not employees. They come on a voluntary basis and work towards being work-ready, if that is their goal.
Some just come for a cuppa or meal, others to socialise. The loss of funding translates to $430,000 per annum loss of revenue for the organisation (20 per cent of total revenue).
We are not in a financial position to pay the allowance because we are no longer running the training programme.
We have invited our trainees to stay on as volunteers if they choose and about 25 have done so. We are currently working to provide a shuttle service from Tawa, Cannons Creek and Titahi Bay, where most of our trainees live, so those who want to come for the socialisation and friendship can.
Editor’s note: This letter was run last week, but an editing error altered the meaning. Our apologies.