Burke profile angers fellow PCT colleagues
A stoush has broken out between Porirua Community Trust member John Burke and his five colleagues regarding comments on his candidate profile that went out with voting papers.
Burke, a current Porirua City councillor and former mayor, is a former chairman of the trust and has been involved in the organisation since 2001, when it took proceeds from pubs, rather than gaming machines.
In his profile he said that in 2015 the Porirua Community Trust, ‘‘on dubious advice and despite my opposition’’ closed down its gaming arm, Mana Community Grants Foundation.
He said annual distribution of grants would likely reduce from $2.5 million to $1m and voters should elect trustees who were committed to ‘‘turning PCT’s fortunes around’’.
His words have angered the other five members of the trust - Litea Ah Hoi, Tim Sheppard, Eleanor Cater, Sarah Dow and Henry Smith.
‘‘John is crystal ball gazing - he’s making misleading assumptions about future earnings,’’ Cater said.
‘‘His profile statement is unfair and does not represent the situation.’’
Cater said figures show grants to the community have reduced 25 per cent to $1.77m in the 12 months to August and the $1m figure from Burke for the future was pessimistic, especially when gaming venues might come back to the fold..
Smith said he was surprised by Burke’s ‘‘attacking stance’’.
‘‘John is astute and he has all that experience, but the rest of us stand together on this.’’
Ah Hoi said it was electioneering and Burke wanted to paint himself as the voice of reason.
‘‘It’s misleading and it stinks - his figures don’t stack up.’’
However Burke stood by his figures and said PCT’s pubs The Ledge and 888 Sports Bar in Tawa would struggle to produce $1m in earnings for the trust in the next year.
‘‘I think the figure of $1.77m is devious - you will not get that from two sites. People deserve to know the truth.’’
He pointed to his history with the trust since 2001, helping to turn it from a struggling organisation to distributing $2.5m in subsequent years.
John Burke is seeking re-election to the Porirua Community Trust.