An independent witness has told the Waitangi Tribunal that her local kohanga reo operates well with teachers who mainly have a teaching qualification.
The teachers' qualifications are recognised by the Teachers Council, but the kohanga qualification, Tohu Whakapakari, is not.
A kuia at Te Kohanga Reo o Nga Kuaka in Waikato, Rita Walker, gave evidence on Wednesday at the Waitangi Tribunal inquiry in Wellington.
The claim was brought by the Kohanga Reo National Trust, which wants to become self-managed.
Ms Walker, who also works at the Education Review Office, says her local Maori pre-school in Waikato is whanau led, even though it has early childhood education qualified teachers.
She said its model works for them.
Ms Walker said being teacher-led appears to be misunderstood.
She said for her local kohanga a teacher or kaiako works in line with the aspirations set by the whanau.
But Ms Walker told the tribunal that a qualification such as Tohu Whakapakari may work for other kohanga.