An investigation has exposed links between the sex industry and a charitable trust apparently set up to help vulnerable youth.
It also reveals the involvement of a former political figure convicted for giving cash and cigarettes to a teenage boy in exchange for sex.
Christchurch-based Te Poaka Tipua Charitable Trust, which operates out of an old office block on Buckleys Rd, Linwood, was incorporated in September.
Its paperwork shows it was established to help poverty-stricken youths, particularly those in the eastern suburbs.
* Former Mana Party organiser Nicholas Kayne Nitro, 36, also known as Nikora, helped establish Te Poaka Tipua Charitable Trust. In 2012, Nitro was convicted of receiving commercial sexual services from a 16-year-old boy. The age limit is 18 under the Prostitution Reform Act.
* Te Poaka Tipua chairperson Veronica Rongomairatahi Stuart, 55, has convictions for fraud and previously operated a male sex club called The Closet with Nitro at a site on Ferry Rd. The pair were both directors of a company called Closet Holdings.
* A website continues to advertise a male sex club [“Mens Cruise Club”] called The Backroom at Te Poaka Tipua’s Buckleys Rd headquarters.
* Former sex workers frequent the site.
After learning details of the investigation, Christchurch East MP Poto Williams called on community leaders to “look seriously at what alternatives we can put in place”.
“If what you’re saying proves to be true, it’s extraordinarily concerning for our young people,” Williams said.
“It is not . . . healthy in the long term for . . people with significant and quite disturbing histories like that to be setting up services for young people. Now that it’s on my radar, I’m certainly going to be making some inquiries.”
Christchurch City councillor Paul Lonsdale said he was “horrified” to learn about the backgrounds of those involved with Te Poaka Tipua.
“There’s no question it’s a recipe for disaster,” he said.
For full story see: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/65621090/sex-trade-links-to-christchurch-youth-charity