The Ministry of Health has appointed consumer advocate David Russell as a board advisor to disability provider Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau.
Ministry officials met last week with the management team of Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau where decisions were jointly made about how the Ministry can play a stronger role in ensuring the financial and quality performance of the provider can be sustained.
It was agreed at our meeting that a number of steps will be taken to strengthen the organisation’s governance and support the leadership. In agreement with the current board chair and the board it was decided the chair would step down from his role. An interim chair will be appointed in the coming weeks.
Mr Russell has been appointed as an advisor to the board to provide additional expertise and oversight at board level. He will report to the Ministry.
We have also engaged an external forensic auditor to assess Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau’s financial situation following recent allegations around misappropriation of funds and spending. It is expected this audit will start this week.
The Ministry’s focus is always on ensuring that public money is being spent on high quality, safe services and the public can have confidence in the services they are receiving.
Two management advisors will be appointed to support the chief executive to continue to manage and strengthen the financial management, human resources capability and processes, and the quality of service performance. Both advisors will report to the Ministry.
The Ministry has been closely monitoring Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau following concerns raised about the provider last year.
A recent audit carried out by the Ministry determined the organisation was financially viable in the short term, but noted that senior management and the board must take steps to ensure its future financial sustainability. The auditors also identified there was a lack of expertise at board level.
Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau is the country’s only intellectual disability residential Kaupapa Māori provider catering to nearly 300 clients, with 500 staff in 54 separate whare/residences in Auckland, Northland, Waikato and Canterbury regions.
We remain committed to supporting our providers to deliver high quality services to their clients and on having absolute certainty on where public money is being spent, and that it is going into the areas that make a real difference to those people who use the services.
Attributed to Jill Lane, Director of National Services Purchasing, National Health Board in the Ministry of Health