The MDA branches around New Zealand may be in for an uncertain future if rumours coming from National Office are to be believed.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association was once an entity that didn’t run for profit but for the best interests of the members.
Under the leadership of Chris Higgins, the association has achieved some small successes – including the free counselling service for members and delivery of a nationwide fieldworker service.
But the clear continual overspends on underwhelming projects that have resulted in significant profit loss is the forever-defining issue that is now stuck to the MDA for at least another financial year.
It is no secret that the Northern Branch and its leadership isn’t popular with Higgins.
This is on both a professional and personal level.
Sources have informed The Real Michael Pulman that an idea in National Office is to one day remove the branches and have the MDA run out of a single nation-wide establishment.
This would see many jobs cut and National Office would takeover the running of events like camps, Christmas parties, and more.
More money would either have to be spent on these – or the MDA would choose to get rid altogether.
The Real Michael Pulman is still working on verifying these claims and they are just reports at this stage.
The “Making a Difference” initiative is good in parts but in general it is a rehashed overdo of an already established way of operating.
Higgins writes in his Chief Executive Report that it is hoped this scheme will generate more revenue for the MDA – but the high cost to set up the various different arms of the scheme will eat into the already massive $300,000 plus financial deficit.
What about spending money to make money?
The answer to that question is by posing another – how much input have the members actually had on any of the big grand money making schemes that Higgins and National Council come up with?
The MDA employee who sent the electioneering email on the behalf of Liz Mills, former Wellington chairperson, is understood to be still employed by the MDA as the office manager of the Wellington branch.
This is despite accessing the private member databases which includes highly sensitive and personal information about members, used for purposes which directly attempted, and were successful, in swaying the NC elections into the favour of Heather Browning.
As The Real Michael Pulman has previously reported, the voting numbers have not been released to the members following Heather Brownings questionable election.
And to what of Chris Higgins’s verbal attack on what is reported to be up to three MDA members?
The matter became a public issue the moment Higgins verbally attacked a Northern Branch member in a public setting with various witnesses who have all given statements to The Real Michael Pulman.
In its full breakdown of expenses in 2014, the MDA posted well over $100,000 in the ‘other’ section of its financial report.
Sources close to The Real Michael Pulman have informed that new information surrounding expenses has also come to light – further pushing the need for Higgins and National Council to make a public statement fast.