The lead teacher at a Palmerston North kohanga reo says staying loyal to the movement's national body has not prevented Mana Tamariki from lifting teacher quality.
The Kohanga Reo National Trust fears rules for mainstream pre-schools will be forced on kohanga following a sharp criticism of the movement from the Early Childhood Education Taskforce.
Founders of two Maori language nests that quit the national movement say the kohanga trust is outdated and failing to strive for quality education. One of them is a member of the Early Childhood Education Taskforce.
Brenda Souter says her kohanga reo, Mana Tamariki, has teachers with qualifications from the kohanga movement, Te Wananga o Raukawa, and Massey University.
She says the movement's independence hasn't restricted quality and should be maintained.
Ms Souter says Kohanga has also been a vehicle to promote Maori political aspirations including autonomy.