Stuff reported in 2010:
A police investigation has begun after more than $750,000 was drained from Whitireia Polytechnic students’ association funds over a year.
An audit report shows huge cash payments were made to former association executive members, including almost $12,000 to former president Loretta Ryder. Ms Ryder – the sister of former Black Power spokesman Eugene Ryder – also claimed expenses of $3000 in one month. Almost $700 was spent on an iPod and dock.
The funds also paid for $18,200 of accommodation for Ms Ryder, her family and vice-president Tai Te Karu. It is understood they are cousins and live together.
A large amount of money is also unaccounted for.
About $17,000 was spent through excessive use of mobile broadband modems to surf the internet, the report said. Mobile phone bills of five members of the executive averaged $700 a month. …
Angry students – who learned their funds had dwindled to just $6000 – demanded the executive step down during the tense meeting. After heated discussions, one committee member broke down in tears as she told students to “have faith” in the new executive, which, except for one member, was elected after the misappropriation took place.
Fulltime students must have $135 deducted automatically from their student loans to pay subs for the Whitireia Independent Students Association. There are about 6000 students at the polytech, half of whom are fulltime.
The good thing is that as membership is now voluntary, students are no longer forced to fund such wasteful behaviour.
But imagine my shock when I read this week this article in the NZ Herald:
The former president of a financially troubled student association has been denied compensation from the Wellington polytech it represented.
The Employment Relations Authority was told that Loretta Ryder was owed $53,013.70 in unpaid wages from her time as de facto president of the Whitireia Independent Students’ Association (WISA), which had previously been determined in March 2013.
In her original application, Ms Ryder sought funds from WISA and/or the polytech, but in her final submission, orders were directed against Whitireia as the association was practically defunct.
So she presides over the near bankruptcy of the student association, and then has the cheek to try and get money out of the Polytech on the basis there is no money left in the student association!
WISA’s vice president, who the Dominion Post reported to be Ms Ryder’s cousin Tai Te Karu, admitted to defrauding the association and was sentenced to jail as a result.
Accountant’s audits of the association found that it was in poor shape financially and tens of thousands of dollars of WISA funds still remain unaccounted for.
Ms Ryder was one of three signatories who signed incorrectly completed cheques. As she was never charged with any offences, she remained entitled to the pay she was owed.
By incorrectly completed cheques, do they mean blank cheques?