31 Aug 2015

Minister sidelines Kohanga Reo board

7:10 pm on 31 August 2015

In an unprecedented move, Education Minister Hekia Parata has dealt directly with Kohanga learning centres, sidelining the National Trust board.

The Trust board has governed Kohanga Reo since 1983.

Two years ago she called a number of inquiries into spending and financial management at the Trust.

An audit and later a Serious Fraud Office investigation found a series of wrongdoings amounting to gross mismanagement.

Ms Parata said she was dissatisfied with changes at the Trust since then.

National MP

Education Minister Hekia Parata Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Now she has written directly to the 460 Kohanga Reo, saying she expected a new governance that was truly representative and auditable.

Ms Parata said that was a pre-requisite for resuming discussions on the Treaty of Waitangi claim and said there had been a lot of misinformation and half truths.

"It was clear to me that there were some misunderstandings and some errors of fact that I thought it would be helpful if I addressed them and reply to their communications to me," she said.

The Trust reacted by sending its own letter asking for support and warning not to let Ms Parata's actions divide them.

Radio New Zealand's requests for a response from the Kohanga Reo National Trust have gone unanswered.

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