Turia challenged over refuge problems
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 5:18a.m.
A minister's assertion that she wasn't told a women's refuge with government funding was in trouble is being challenged.
The National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges says it told "government stakeholders and interested ministers" late last year there were audit concerns with Palmerston North's Te Roopu Whakaruruhau o Nga Wahine.
NZ First leader Winston Peters has accused it of fraud in Parliament and says despite the 2011 audit government funding was extended through to June 2015.
The $80,000 a year funding is from the Family Violence Whanau Ora fund, administered by Tariana Turia.
Mrs Turia said on Thursday she was "kept in the dark" about the fraud allegations until Mr Peters revealed them on Wednesday.
"I wasn't in any way informed that there were improper practices," she said, and she's demanding answers from government officials.
The national collective's chief executive, Heather Henare says the refuge was offered help but refused it, and further funding was withheld.
"We are disappointed with messages coming from the Government that insinuate we have not done our job in this particular matter," she said.
"We reacted immediately, we instigated due process and ensured no funds under our control were released to this agency."
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