5 Aug 2011

Urgent hearing sought over future of language schools

8:35 pm on 5 August 2011

The Kohanga Reo movement says the Crown has objected to its plea for an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing.

The movement runs language nests for pre-school children and lodged an application with the tribunal last month following a Government early childhood report in June that threatens the schools' existence.

Kohanga Reo National Trust Board co-chair Tina Olsen-Ratana says the Crown has told the tribunal it does not support the application.

But Ms Olsen-Ratana says this is not happening, and Education Minister Anne Tolley should not put off dealing with the movement's concerns.

The tribunal needs to hear the Kohanga Reo's claim before changes are made that will affect the way the schools are run, she says.

It is now up to the Waitangi Tribunal to decide if the claim should be heard.

The Ministry of Education says it will not comment, as the matter is before the tribunal.