22 Oct 2013

Minister tells kohanga they are not target in review

8:39 pm on 22 October 2013

Education Minister Hekia Parata says individual kohanga reo are not targets in a Government review of spending by the publicly-funded Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board.

An independent review of the trust board has been set up, following the alleged misuse of credit cards by a manager of its subsidiary, Te Pataka Ohanga.

Hekia Parata.

Hekia Parata. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

The Trust Board has suspended a manager and cancelled all company credit cards.

Ms Parata is assuring kohanga that the focus is on the trust, saying some feel like they have been caught up in a storm, not of their making.

She says she applauds and supports the work of kohanga around the country and would like to see more children engaged in them.

The inquiry is expected to be completed by mid-December.

Work to address issues from the movement's Treaty of Waitangi claim has been placed on hold during the review.

Separately, the co-leader of the Maori Party, Tariana Turia, has criticised the way Maori Television broke the story.

She told reporters on Tuesday that she was disappointed at the broadcaster's coverage, which claimed credit cards were spent on wedding and designer dresses and gifts.

Mrs Turia says one would have expected that the channel would look at the potential of Maori, rather than looking at everything that is wrong.