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Streets Ahead lays finances bare

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

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Streets Ahead 237's audited annual report is out, with its board chairperson and founder both challenging "destructive forces" in the Porirua community to pick holes in it.

The charitable trust's financial report for 2011/12 year shows grant income of $517,477 and donations of $772. Streets Ahead has five employees, including founder Wayne Poutoa and wife Jennifer, and wages were just over $187,000, while the next biggest expenses were towards implementing the programmes - $71,329.

Mr Poutoa and trust board chairperson Gregory Fortuin said it was an unqualified audit, which looked at every aspect of their accounts.

"The last two years has seen this organisation build capabilities and capacity and put the right procedures in place and it's important that we are transparent and accountable to the people of Porirua," Mr Fortuin says. He said it had been frustrating dealing with members of the community attacking Streets Ahead. City councillor Litea Ah Hoi had alleged financial mismanagement on her Facebook page.

"There are destructive forces out there and some of what is being said on Facebook is extremely personal. Although we resent what is being said, we have not responded, preferring to focus on the right outcomes that Streets can deliver."

Mr Poutoa said the staff and volunteers were the ones who deserve the most praise.

"We [himself and Mr Fortuin] might be the faces, but we're not the engine room. The people who are involved in Streets Ahead come and translate their passion into performance."

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett was happy to endorse the audited report and said Mr Poutoa has proven the ability to "uplift vulnerable kids and deliver opportunities for them".

"The public funders are happy and the audit proves they are on the right track. It's important that Porirua community groups and non-government organisations function well and have total transparency and Wayne's clearly shown that."

Mr Fortuin and Mr Poutoa have not ruled out legal action against Ms Ah Hoi.

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