Mana Re­cov­ery closing

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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.

Photo: ROSS GIBLIN

Wind­ing up: The Mana Re­cov­ery Trust in Porirua, which runs Trash Palace, is closing and go­ing into vol­un­tary liq­ui­da­tion.

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