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High Court action underway

4 September 2002 Media Statement

High Court action underway

Child, Youth and Family is this afternoon taking High Court legal action to halt the further sale of assets by Northland’s Te Hauora O Te Tai Tokerau (THOTT) and to freeze the trust’s bank accounts, says Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

“The department’s action is being taken at my direction to help ensure that CYF-funded assets are retained by the department for the provision of social services to at-risk Northland families.

“A freeze on asset sales and bank accounts will assist CYF to recover money it is claiming off THOTT for under delivery of services.

“The department believes CYF-funded assets should be returned to the department to support the provision of services to at-risk families by the interim service provider, Kirikiriroa. It also believes that THOTT owes CYF money because THOTT has under-delivered on contracts it had with the department in the last financial year.”

Steve Maharey said CYF will be claiming as much as approximately $1.7 million in damages from THOTT.

“CYF is no longer prepared to wait for arbitration to resolve these issues, given that there are no guarantees that assets are not continuing to be disposed of.”

In the meantime, a limited interim Family Start and Amokura service continues to be provided by Kirikiriroa.

“I’m advised that expansion of this service is being hampered by the fact that THOTT has refused to hand over all client records and CYF-funded assets to the department.

“The department’s legal claim will help it work towards restoring full services as soon as possible. Any family needing Family Start or Amokura services is able to ring Kirikiriroa on 0800 WHANAU,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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