December 09, 2015
Ngati Awa in choppy waters
Whakatane-based Te Runanga o Ngati Awa is in crisis as it tries to deal with fraud, staffing problems and the departure of its chief executive.
Edith Ratahi-Pryor invoked a change clause in her contract when the runanga moved to split executive responsibility for social and commercial operations.
She left her $180,000 job last week with a $240,000 pay-out.
In his report to the annual meeting last weekend, chair Joe Mason said in her three years she had introduced systems, policies and appropriate staffing to allow the runanga to live within its means.
But the meeting heard that meant getting accounting firm Deloittes to provide financial advice at a cost of $470,000 over the past two years, rather than replacing the chief financial officer when he quit in 2013.
The Whakatane Beacon reported a staff member was sacked last week for misappropriating money.
It said the financial controller quit at the weekend, another staffer is on extended stress leave, one person quit without giving a reason and another was removed from their role.
The annual report shows a $2.4 million profit for the year ending June 30, down 60 percent on 2014, but assets rose from $106 million to $110 million.
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