Mana Recovery closing
A Porirua charity that employs dozens of people with mental health problems has been forced into voluntary liquidation, after a District Health Board withdrew funding.
The Mana Recovery Trust, which runs second-hand store Trash Palace, told its 35 employees last Tuesday it would cease operating in late April.
Mana Recovery chairman Alan Ellis said the community organisation, which had been operating for 18 years, was proceeding into voluntary liquidation.
He said Mana Recovery had provided social skills and vocational training for people with a mental illness.
It also provided work experience and supported employment for people who had come through its training programmes.
Capital & Coast District Health Board withdrew its funding in December last year, after deciding to move to a new model of mental health support.
The Mana Recovery board thought it could continue offering a range of services to mental health consumers.
However, the withdrawal of funding, along with increasingly competitive markets, put too much financial pressure on the organisation.
‘‘ Since our district health board support funding ended, our staff, volunteers and board have worked incredibly hard to find ways to continue our services,’’ Ellis said.
‘‘We have reluctantly accepted it is no longer feasible to continue our services without ongoing funding support.
‘‘ Voluntary liquidation will enable us to treat our creditors, including our staff, fairly.’’
It is understood some employees were worried about the welfare of supported workers with mental health problems.
Service and Food Workers Union organiser Russell Taylor said workers were too upset to comment.
It was unlikely the devastated workers would see much, if any, redundancy pay because liquidators would use any cash to pay other creditors first.
The trust was in such a bad financial position, it may not be able to pay holiday entitlements to its workers Taylor claims.
‘‘We are outraged. This business is such an important part of the community. This is a disaster for the workers and the many volunteers who help here.’’
In the past year he had seen about 20 people benefit and return to the work force.
Porirua City Council operations general manager Peter Bailey said it was seeking a new operator for Trash Palace.
Winding up: The Mana Recovery Trust in Porirua, which runs Trash Palace, is closing and going into voluntary liquidation.