24 Apr 2015

Charity accused of sex industry link opts out

1:32 pm on 24 April 2015

A Christchurch charity accused of having links with the sex industry has decided to deregister following an investigation by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The department opened an investigation into Te Poaka Tipua Charitable Trust on 26 January after a complaint about the way it was run. Its findings were released today.

The trust, which operates a drop-in centre for youth, shares a Linwood address with a men's sex club, the Backroom, which advertises online.

The trust's chair, Veronica Stuart, had earlier told Radio New Zealand the trust was not at all linked with the club - and the department said its investigation failed to find any evidence supporting the claim there was a link.

However, the trust has now notified Charities Services that it is winding up and opting to deregister, and is no longer operating.

Internal Affairs said serious concerns were raised over the trust's governance that would have led to compliance action had the trust not opted to deregister.

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