Iwi Money Problems

Iwi Rift Over

Health Money

By Alan Tristram
March 31, 2010

A major financial scandal has hit a local iwi on the Kapiti Coast.

The problem — which has rumbled along unknown to the general public for some time — centres on the adminstration of nearly $600,000  by Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai.

The matter has come to a head with a decision by the Capital and Coast DHB to demand the return of the money, which apparently was not used for contracted health services.

Health Contracts Suspended

The Health Board has also temporarily suspended four key health contracts awarded to the Iwi.

The issue has deeply divided the Iwi, with some members demanding proper financial transparency and a return to open governance.

The Runanga of Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai signed the original agreements with the Capital and Coast Health Board.

Accounts examined

But the Board has found that the Iwi’s health provider, Hora Te Pai, was subject to unexplained transfers and advances of money.

This follows an examination of the runanga’s accounts from  2006 to 2009.

Special meetings of the Iwi last Sunday were abandoned due to insufficient information being provided to Iwi members who went to get updates on the business of Te Runanga o Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai and the Whakarongotai Charitable Trust Board.

Mr Richard Orzecki, leader of an alternative runanga executive committee appointed late last year, says: “There has been angst among the people over the lack of accountability over many years of operation.”

Mr Orzecki adds: “The Charitable Trust Board was not prepared even after months of putting off the hui.

“The wrong minutes were given out and there was no audited set of accounts.”