20 Aug 2011

Iwi leaders support Kohanga Reo Tribunal claim

4:10 pm on 20 August 2011

The Iwi Chairs Forum has delivered a resolution to back the Kohanga Reo claim before the Waitangi Tribunal.

The Kohanga Reo Trust Board has been giving evidence on why it wants the tribunal to urgently hear its concerns about a government report on how to improve the running of kohanga.

The trust's concerns were lodged under urgency because of a report by the Government's early childhood taskforce, which the Kohanga Reo movement says threatens its survival. The trust says it doesn't want rules governing mainstream early childhood centres imposed on kohanga.

Fifty tribes pledged their support for the movement at their hui in Hopuhopu near Ngaruawahia on Thursday and chair of the Waikato-Tainui executive Tukoroirangi Morgan says the movement is "very dear to Maori" and iwi stand with kohanga in seeking an independent position for the preservation of their movement.

The Crown is opposing the request for an urgent hearing, saying although it's important, it doesn't warrant immediate action.