3 Apr 2014

Refuge questions NUMA appointment

6:32 am on 3 April 2014

A Maori Women's Refuge believes vulnerable people will think twice before seeking help from the newly announced Whanau Ora agency due to comments made by its leadership about sex abuse.

The National Urban Maori Authority's Te Pou Matakana is the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency for the North Island.

Whakaruruhau Family services manager (tumuaki) Ruahine Albert wants to know what exactly two of its executives did to address controversial comments they made about sex abuse.

NUMA chair Willie Jackson and John Tamihere, the chief executive of the Waipereira Trust, which comes under NUMA, were last year taken off air over controversial comments about sex abuse.

They apologised for their comments but Ms Albert did not believe that was good enough.

She said the public was entitled to know why an organisation headed by Mr Jackson should become the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency for Te Ika a Maui - North Island.

Potential clients were likely to be less trusting of NUMA because of the remarks made by Mr Jackson and Mr Tamihere, she said.

But Minister of Whanau Ora Tariana Turia told Te Manu Korihi, the organisation had passed a stringent process.

Mr Jackson did not return calls from Te Manu Korihi.