October 15, 2013
Kohanga expose missed target
Former Labour MP turned broadcaster John Tamihere says a Native Affairs exposure of alleged questionable spending at the Kohanga Reo National Trust shows a failure of balance by Maori Television.
Native Affairs last night reported that leaked records from the trust’s commercial arm Te Pataka Ohanga showed general manager Lynda Tawhiwhirangi used a company credit card to pay for expensive dresses and other items.
It also questioned spending on meals and accommodation by her mother in law, long serving Kohanga Reo trustee Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi.
Mr Tamihere says while there are long-standing issues about the trust’s openness, Maori Television’s story looked like a Pakeha media beat-up.
"I think it’s time for a conversation that the whole place was made more transparent and accountable at a governance level. And if that's the conversation, I'd like to have that conversation. I don't want to beat up people over $500, $800 dresses. It goes back to Tuku's underpants, and at the end of the day after all the audits were in and his political career was destroyed, not one issue of any criminality," he says.
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