22 Mar 2014

Maori leaders say front up kohanga

8:46 pm on 22 March 2014

More Maori leaders have made it clear they want the Kohanga Reo National Trust to be up-front about spending within its commercial arm.

Te Pataka Ohanga is the subject of attention from the Serious Fraud Office and Charity Services after alleged misuse of credit cards by its staff.

The lead negotiator for Gisborne iwi, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Willie Te Aho, says the trust needs to be proactive and investigate or face what he calls death by a thousand cuts.

He's supporting calls by Sir Toby Curtis of Te Arawa Lakes Trust, and Pem Bird of the Iwi Education Authority, that the trust needs to account for the allegations made against Te Pataka Ohanga.

Mr Te Aho says unless the allegations are put to bed, the issues will remain in the media and will affect the credibility of the trust.

He says that will have a flow on effect for kohanga reo in the regions, and for people who back the movement.