Defunct trust owed almost $100,000, says liquidator

23:08, Jul 30 2013

Defunct health trust Te Rapuora owed nearly $100,000 to unsecured creditors, the trust's liquidator says.

That includes $43,110 to the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board through overfunding.

The board was originally owed more than $150,000, but was able to recover nearly $80,000 for Kaupapa Maori mental health overpayments and $28,000 for Maori personal health services.

Maori health director Harold Wereta said the board was seeking legal advice on whether it should pursue the former trustees of Te Rapuora to recover the rest.

Te Rapuora has been in liquidation since it closed on Christmas Eve last year because of financial problems.

Liquidator Geoff Falloon, of Biz Rescue Limited, has asked the Companies Office to remove the trust from the Companies Register and filed his final report on the Marlborough Maori health provider last week.


Mr Falloon, who could not be reached for comment, said in his report that there had been "mismanagement of funds" but that he had decided not to take action against the trustees under the Charitable Trust Act.

Any objection to his request to have the trust removed from the Companies Register must be made by August 20.

Te Rapuora Trust board chairwoman Margaret Bond said yesterday that she would not object to the trust's removal from the register.

It was just part of the process of closing down the trust, she said.

The liquidator's report also showed that Te Rapuora owed about $21,000 to a Blenheim and Nelson photocopier company, The Copier Company, and its finance firm Better Leasing.

Audits of the trust's finances and management, carried out in October and November last year by the Nelson Marlborough Health Board and the Ministry of Health, and released under the Official Information Act, revealed the extent of its financial problems.

The failed trust leased space at its Blenheim property, in Grove Rd, to a board member's son rent-free, despite plans to fund its activities by sub-leasing space, the audit documents showed.

The health board audit found significant issues relating to Te Rapuora Trust board's performance, with the manager, chairwoman and a board member all describing the board as "dysfunctional".

Te Rapuora was the first Maori health provider in the South Island, and served the Maori community in Nelson and Marlborough for 26 years.

Services have since been picked up by four other Maori health providers - Te Kahui Hauora O Ngati Koata, Te Hauora O Te Awhina, Maata Waka Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust and Te Hauora O Ngati Rarua.

Nelson-based Ngati Koata started providing Maori mental health services at Witherlea House, at Wairau Hospital, in January.

Mr Wereta said both Ngati Koata and Maataa Waka had made steady progress in rebuilding the services held by Te Rapuora.

Maataa Waka, working closely with Ngati Rarua, took over 52 clients and each person had been fully assessed with new service plans put in place, he said.

The Marlborough Express