August 29, 2012
Waipareira not given time to fix service
Witnesses for Te Whanau o Waipareira have been putting the case for why they believe west Auckland Maori social service provider’s family start contract was improperly terminated.
The High Court is reviewing the actions of the Ministry of Social Development and minister Paula Bennett.
Chief executive John Tamihere, who spent yesterday and today in the witness box, says the Ministry didn’t give Waipareira the time it had indicated to fix performance problems and rebuild its service from 50 to 270 families.
"When you are dealing with high needs vulnerable families, it takes time to build up a rapport with them, it takes time for them to become more disclosing it takes time when most of their healthcare is through A&E to build up a relationship, and I just hope the judge understands we are not dealing with widgets, we are dealing with very difficult case and the ministry pulled the pin far too early on us," he says.
Mr Tamihere says by the time the contract was axed Waipareira was one of the top performers nationally.
The court also heard from consultant Heidi Leason that the statistical report used by the ministry to justify terminating the contract was not based on a random sample but instead looked at only the worst of the worst cases.