Whanau Centre faces legal challenge

BY KRIS DANDO
Last updated 11:00 20/11/2012

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The newly rebranded Porirua Whanau Centre is facing a legal challenge over changes to its trust deed.

The Whanau Centre's community council has attempted to remove all members of the Whanau Centre Board of Trustees, for failing to align with the strategic direction of the council, which included the name change and changes to the trust deed.

The council also claims to have installed a new trust board, chaired by Atarangi Clothier.

Kapi-Mana News was sent a copy of a letter, dated October 23, from Ms Clothier to the old board members, informing them of the community council's decision.

However, Whanau Centre manager Liz Kelly and incumbent trust chairman Mike Fermanis said the board was legitimate and competent, and reflected the direction the centre was taking.

Known for nearly 20 years as the Porirua Fanau Centre, the recent name change reflects their funders and "what we have grown into", said Mr Fermanis.

Kitiona Tauira, who facilitates the Papas and Mamas Pacific Combined Programme and assisted in the community consultation over the name change, said the Maori term "whanau" was well supported.

The Associate Minister of Housing, Health and Social Development, Tariana Turia, got a tour of the centre and was informed about progress with the programmes and services at the opening on November 9.

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