February 20, 2014
Kohanga sacking divides board
A rift has formed in Te Kohanga Reo National Trust as it tries to deal with allegations about misspending at its commercial subsidiary.
The Education Ministry is considering a report from auditors Ernst and Young, which was ordered after Maori Television revealed leaked records of credit card spending by Te Pataka Ohanga chief executive Lynda Tawhiwhirangi and one of its directors, her mother in law Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi.
Maori Television has now revealed Lynda Tawhiwhirangi demanded an exit package of more than $400,000 to go quietly.
This was rejected by directors, Te Wharehuia Milroy and Druis Barrett, who sacked the chief executive after commissioning their own report into the use of the credit cards.
Mrs Tawhiwhirangi has now taken a personal grievance.
In a split vote, the national trust voted to remove Mrs Barrett as a director of the company, but the former Maori Women’s Welfare League president remains a trustee.
The row will increase pressure on Education Minister Hekia Parata to act.
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