14 Mar 2013

Trust board calls for kohanga reo bill

6:36 am on 14 March 2013

Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board says it wants a bill of its own before the end of the year.

The call follows the appointment of Sir Michael Cullen as the independent advisor to implement recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal's report on kohanga reo, working with the trust board and the Crown.

Trust board co-chair Tina Olsen-Ratana says it was clear from the hearing that kohanga are a unique body.

She says part of a kohanga reo bill would be for it to have its own statute.

Ms Olsen-Ratana says kohanga has suffered undue prejudice under the Early Childhood Education framework and its own bill would allow Maori pre-schools to have a framework that is more relevant to their kaupapa or philosophy.

She says a kohanga reo bill is a key part of the coalition agreement between the Maori Party and National Party, and the Waitangi Tribunal supported exploring the idea.