Exclusive – Te Reo Marama – Troughing 104

The last fews days have seen me expose Te Reo Marama and Shane Kawaneta Bradbook as troughers extraordinaire. The organisation so far has lightened the taxpayers pocket to the tune of almost $2 million dollars and there is more yet to come. Despite a damning audit report the Ministry of Health continued to fund Te Reo Marama to the tune of $500,000.

Yesterday I revealed that Te Reo Marama had also gone dipping in the DHB troughs for additional funding and today I will reveal an extraordinary programme that they received funding, not once, but twice for that the Outcomes report for each of the programmes show little was actually achieved.

In July 2007, just months before the damning audit report was to be released, Te Reo Marama applied for and was granted two contracts to deliver what they describe as Tika/Pono Programmes, one for Wairoa ($29,560) and one for local schools ($27,160) in the region.

These programmes are designed, according to Te Reo Marama’s description as acting as an intervention enabling maori youth to halt smoking or if not yet smoking resist the evil advertising onslaught from the multi-national tobacco companies.

Yet the Output reports suggest that the Hawkes Bay District Health Board might have better spent the $60,000 on putting up posters saying “Stop smoking you Thickies” for all the good these programmes did.

Output Report Schools
Output Report Wairoa

If you look at those reports they are actually damning. Worse if you look closely at the contracts there is far more reporting requirements stipulated than a couple of two page reports. For $60,000 the HBDHB essentially received 4 pages of output reports at a cost of $15,000 per page and no discernable or measurable reduction in smoking in Maori Boarding schools or in Wairoa. Hell’s teeth for $60,000 you could have employed a security guard full time to check school bags that would have been more effective at stopping smoking at school, or paid a bonus for the teachers to actually remove their prodigious arses from the the staff room and patrol the grounds.

Bear in mind that the HBDHB has refused to release many more documents regarding the contracts and performance and costs of Te Reo Marama.

We are still awaiting the OIA documents from NZAID and other DHB’s to see the total size of the trough that Te Reo Marama built for itself. Te Reo Marama is jut the tip of the iceberg though. Next week we will release documents that show other Stop Smoking organisations are troughing it up even worse from the Ministry of Health and reveal documents that show that ASH and the Health Sponsorship Council are amongst the worst troughers again with little measured results. On a more serious note we will show serious discrepancies in reporting of expenditure and the reluctance of the Auditor-Generals Office to get involved.

What is clear from the case of Te Reo Marama is that there is a division in the Ministry of Health that simply doles out money willy-nilly in vast quantities and then cares not a jot for any outcomes. Only when the troughing becomes obvious do they get audits done but then they bury those and continue funding.

What is also clear is that there is an organised anti-smoking lobby out there working together to push funds the way of their mates, pat each other on the back and run interference whenever someone comes poking their nose into their cozy, comfortable little state funded world.

Only the most stupid person in New Zealand would now choose to take up smoking with all the evidence that is before us. Sure once started on smoking it is an addictive product and difficult to stop but the point is that at some point an individual made a conscious? choice to have a cigarette.

The actuarial evidence would suggest that instead of maligning smokers we should in fact be congratulating them on sacrificing themselves for the better good of the nation. Their early death and paying of extra taxes ensures that there is more to go around to those smart enough to never have smoked in the first place.

Next week we will also name Ministry of Health officials who have turned a blind eye and signed off on reports that were clearly, obviously and demonstrably false in their declarations.