In 2012 I announced that the Primary Focus Trust was to be dissolved, effective from 30 June 2012. The primary reason for the closure was the total loss of base funding from Waikato District Council.
At this time I explained this thus: "Primary Focus Trust is the successor organisation to the Enterprise Franklin Development Trust (EFDT), which had been funded by Franklin District Council to undertake and promote economic development throughout Franklin District. When the Franklin District Council was split apart in November 2010, responsibility for economic development in the northern part of the District transferred to ATEED, an Auckland Council organisation, including their share of the funds held at that time by EFDT. In the southern part of the District, the Primary Focus Trust was established, with a transfer of funds from Franklin District, and ongoing cornerstone funding from the Waikato District Council. However, Waikato District Council recently advised the Trust that it has decided to totally cease funding the Trust, effective from 1 July 2012. Without this base funding, the Trustees reached the conclusion that the Trust was unsustainable, and therefore had no choice but to resolve to dissolve the Trust." The decision was made very reluctantly, but was unanimous.
The Trustees decided that the funds remaining in the Trust (after the winding up costs) would be distributed back to organisations located within the boundaries of the old Franklin District, subject to meeting criteria consistent with the Objects of the Trust.
The contractors and the Chief Executive of Primary Focus Trust advised the Trustees that they would be establishing a new company, called Primary Focus Ltd., to continue the projects that have been started by the Trust.
Since then the Trusts' only activity was the processing of applications for grants and matters relating to this. The audited financial report for the 2012-13 year was delayed by the matters refered to below but is available here.
Unfortunately one of the unsuccessful applicants was moved to threaten legal action to force a judicial review of the Trustees decisions. This had the effect of delaying the disbursement of the grants for a few weeks before the applicant decided not to proceed. Our legal advice was that there were no grounds for such a review and that the claim was without merit. In the event the claim was withdrawn and the Trust was able to proceed with processing the grants.
All grants were paid by the deadline of 28th February 2012 with the exception of the Queens Redoubt Trust which was allocated such funds as remained once all winding up expenses had been met.
In May 2013 a complaint from an unnamed individual or group was made to the Attorney General (Crown Law) about the manner in which the Trustees distributed the Trusts' assets. It can only be assumed that the unsuccessful applicant had a nasty case of 'sour grapes'. The Trust fully complied with Crown Law's requests for information and pleasingly they decided that they "do not consider that there has been any misapplication of funds". A copy of Crown Law's finding is available here.
Sadly the impact of these legal shenanigans was to delay the wind up of the Trust and reduce the amount of money available for distribution and apply it to legal fees instead.
The Trustees obtained a legal opinion that no further public meeting was necessary and so the final distribution was made and the Trust deregistered.
The website has now been shutdown and this article provided for historical interest.