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Inquiry wanted into COGS, Lotteries grants

Inquiry wanted into COGS, Lotteries grants

National’s Social Services spokeswoman, Katherine Rich, wants an inquiry into nearly $50,000 worth of government grants given to a Manukau trust for a waka clubhouse that has not been built.

She is commenting on documents that show the Manukau Outrigger Canoeing Whare Nui Trust received a grant of $5,720 from the Community Organisation Grants Scheme and $43,018 of Lotteries Commission money to build a clubhouse on the shores of Manukau Harbour.

Major concerns have been raised about the way the trust conducted its business, and police are investigating.

Mrs Rich says she wants Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins and Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Rick Barker to seek a review of the grants, and any others made by government to the trust, to make sure the money was spent correctly and to identify what was actually achieved with such a significant amount of taxpayer money.

“COGS and Lotteries grants are for community-oriented projects. They are not for personal costs like fence building, home renovations or car repairs.

“It is essential that taxpayer money gets spent on the things it’s intended for.

“Barker and Hawkins continue to ignore systemic problems with COGS, part of the Internal Affairs Department, despite being faced with continuing evidence of dysfunction and abuse,” Mrs Rich says.

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