Raukura Waikato Social Services suspended for two months

By Maiki Sherman

Major concerns are hanging over a Māori social services provider under serious financial crisis.  
Raukura Waikato Social Services receive just over $2mil in contract funding each year but its financial situation is so bad the Ministry of Social Development today suspended its approval as a provider for two months.

Th office is usually a hive of activity helping those most vulnerable.  However, today it's the staff who are looking for support.  

According to financial records, Raukura Waikato receives just over $2mil from contracts with the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Justice, Department of Corrections and the Waikato District Health Board.

However, over the past three years, they've been running at deficit, including almost half a million dollars last year.

A number of staff are owed unpaid wages, some totalling six weeks. 
Sheena Wallace has five children and is also pregnant her sixth child.  

While Te Kāea was at the office of Raukura Waikato, a number of people came to the door but had to be turned away.  It's those clients who are the biggest concern for staff. 

Te Kāea contacted the spokesperson for the board but are yet to receive a response.

It's understood the former chief executive and her husband, who was also the chairman of the board, have resigned from their positions at the beginning of this year.