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MDA Scandal: Higgins lacks member confidence in CEO role

In the latest issue of MDA’s In Touch magazine, Chris Higgins writes that he has learnt a lot about resilience against adversity.

At no point does he mention the membership.

Higgins spins a tale which presents the message that ends by saying a fluid spirit is what’s required for the MDA to succeed despite problems.

The spirit inside the MDA offices in Auckland is anything but fluid.

Talk is that office moral is low, sparked by a high turnover of staff and a managerial idea that many believe suits the vision of protecting rather than growing and moving forward.

As CEO of the MDA, Chris Higgins lobbies the government and is a member of various organisations including Disability CEO group and Carer’s Alliance.

The results of Higgins in this role have been mediocre at best thus far.

Nothing has been done about lowering the costs of van registrations for families who are forced to own vans with wheelchair hoists simply to get their children from A to B.

Also, the apparent shortage of Cough Assist Machines for members who can’t battle sickness well due to their disabilities is something that continues to be a major failing by the MDA on perhaps their most pressing issue.

Higgins hasn’t been present at any of the major events run by the Northern branch.

This includes various family camps, Christmas parties, and branch AGM’s held over the last few years.

Higgins absence points to a genuine lack of interest in the views and interests of the members who gather at these events.

These events are setup by the individual branches and have no help by Higgins and his peers at the National office.

MDA chairperson Lindsey McGregor is standing down from National Council.

McGregor says that the development of the organisation is responsible for the purchase of the new office premises, which according to the MDA provide state of the art accessibility for wheelchair users.

The MDA have yet to publicly acknowledge that they overspent on the new building, a project planned and run by Chris Higgins and Helen Melrose, to a sum speculated to be over $100,000.

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