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The country’s largest Muslim
school is under investigation for the
way it has spent public money after
complaints were made to officials
during a review.
The probe into Al-Madinah school
in Mangere comes after financial
auditors raised concerns last year
around the principal’s frequent
overseas trips, and about a lack of
transparency between the finances of
the school and its owner, the Islamic
Education and Dawah Trust.
Both the Ministry of Education
and the Education Review Office are
refusing to say exactly what is being
investigated but it is understood it
includes the handling of ministry
money and an alleged rift between
the board and the school.
However, the school’s principal,
Asin Ali, says the school is confident
it has done no wrong and is working
to get to the bottom of the issues and
ensure the complaints are resolved.
“ We believe we have done things
according to proper procedure and
policy,” Mr Ali said.
“ We think there is enough
c larity. We would like to assure the
community members and those
who complained that this is being
Al-Madinah is a Muslim school
with 550 students at both primary
and secondary level. It has previously
had governance issues, but a
commissioner handed the school
back to the board in 2011 and
recent ERO reports have expressed
confidence in its leadership.
The present investigation is
believed to focus on claims the
school improperly used ministry
money on its buildings. It received a
$1.1 million grant from the ministry
last year to upgrade a classroom block,
but is alleged to have used other
school money on the project as well.
As an integrated school, buildings are
supposed to be the responsibility of
the proprietor, which in this case is the
trust. The Government funds minor
maintenance only, with the exception
of grants for modernisation.
The funds of the school and trust
should be clearly separate, to ensure
However the school’s 2013 financial
audit noted a lack of clarity, with
several transactions relating to the
trust being accounted for on the
school’s ledger. The audit report said
it was difficult to distinguish for
which entity fundraising was done,
and asked for better transparency.
Auditors also raised concerns about
the principal’s overseas trips. Mr Ali
travelled to Australia, Fiji, and the
United Kingdom during 2013 and
2014, at a cost of up to $10,000 to
Auditors said they were unable to
identify the business purpose for two
of the expense claims, and that in one
case the amount of the expense claim
exceeded the amount of supporting
They noted the trips were said to
be to allow staff to study the Islamic
curriculum in schools overseas or to
promote the school, but the outcomes
were not always clear.
New Zealand Herald
Country’s largest Muslim
school under investigation Auckland
John Campbell had TV3 staff in tears
last night as he made a heartfelt speech
after signing off from his last show.
The Campbell Live host spoke to
hundreds of staffers who had gathered in
the show ’s Eden Terrace building when
the 7pm show ended.
As they sipped champagne, wine and
beer, he told them that journalism was
endangered and to “ let journalism shine”.
He added: “Journalism matters. It ’s
never mattered more than now. ”
News boss Mark Jennings also
addressed staff, his voice breaking, and
said it was “a night for the newsroom,
not the company”.
3D journalist Sarah Hall told members
of the public, who had gathered at
the Flower Street headquarters, that
hundreds of staff members had stood in
a guard of honour as Campbell walked
down the hall after the show.
As the show aired, boxes of champagne
and other drinks were taken through the
back of the building. A courier driver
took bunches of flowers into reception.
While signing off on air, Campbell
fought back tears.
“I started here aged 27 in a suit I
borrowed from my dad,” he said.
“ I could never have dreamed what
would happen in the next 24 years.
Thank you so much for watching us. Ka
kite ano, and a very good evening.”
Campbell had been joined on air
by several members of the show ’s
production and reporting team, who he
paid tribute to. The show took viewers
through a montage of previous stories
covered by the team.
The show ended with a shot of
Mr Campbell driving out of TV3’s
headquarters, which had been pre-
Earlier, the presenter received kisses
from 3 News hosts Hilary Barry and
A small crowd, some holding candles
and many with glasses of champagne,
gathered outside and were let into the
building to watch the show in reception.
Aucklander Jo Bond, a self-confessed
“diehard Campbell fan” said she was
New Zealand Herald
Campbell says as
last show airs
Ex-Serious Fraud Office boss Adam
Feeley is “frustrated and disappointed”
by an Auditor-General inquiry into his
family trust ’s proposed subdivision near
The inquiry, announced yesterday,
centres on how the Q ueenstown Lakes
District Council, and chief executive Mr
Feeley, are handling a special housing
area application by Mr Feeley ’s family
Rafa Trust is one of 13 applications
for special housing area status that will
be considered for endorsement at this
coming Wednesday ’s council meeting.
Auditor-General office’s spokesman
Mike Heine said requests from the
public over a perceived conflict of interest
raised issues of “trust and confidence” in
The inquiry includes what involvement
Mr Feeley had in developing the
council’s housing accord and related
policy for special housing areas.
Mr Feeley hit back yesterday afternoon.
He said it was his initiative to raise
the Rafa Trust with the Office of the
Auditor-General (OAG) and the
council more than seven months ago.
“ I am a little frustrated and disappointed
that having been reviewed then — and
their legal advisers having said that ‘you
are doing all the right things and we are
comfortable with the approach’ — the
OAG are now revisiting the matters
which could have been addressed back
Mr Feeley said he welcomed the
opportunity “to confirm that there has
been the utmost probity throughout ”
and he hoped the matter would be
In a statement, Queenstown Mayor
Vanessa van Uden said the application
was always going to be “highly
scrutinised” and the council was
comfortable with the inquiry.
“ We view this as an opportunity to
reassure our community that this matter
has been dealt with appropriately.”
Arrowtown Village Association acting
chairman Wayne Hulls called for Rafa
Trust ’s application to be put aside before
Wednesday’s meeting — at which
councillors will decide which of the 13
proposals to refer to Housing Minister
Nick Smith for approval.
He said his association had contacted
the Auditor-general’s office twice about
Mr Feeley ’s trust.
Otago Daily Times
Ex-Serious Fraud Office
boss ‘frustrated’ at inquiry
A man who beat a police officer to
death has been denied parole in his
first hearing since he was jailed in
Carlos Namana has been ser ving a life
sentence for the murder of constable
Murray Stretch at Mangakino in the
The homicide occurred after Mr
Stretch attended a burglary at a local
dairy, during which he was attack and
repeatedly stomped on the head by
Namana did not seek parole and did
not appear at the hearing on May 26,
as he wanted to complete a drug and
alcohol treatment programme he was
due to finish in October first.
Policeman’s killer denied parole
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