Burke pro­file angers fel­low PCT col­leagues

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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.

PHOTO: FAIRFAX NZ

John Burke is seek­ing re-elec­tion to the Porirua Com­mu­nity Trust.

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