March 20, 2014
Kohanga whitewash fails say Greens
The Green Party says the Government has only called in the Serious Fraud Office to look at spending in the Kohanga Reo National Trust because its attempted whitewash failed to wash with the public.
Education Minister Hekia Parata and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples asked the SFO to look at what they claimed were new allegations about spending in trust subsidiary Te Pataka Ohanga only hours after releasing a report they said cleared the trust of any misuse of public funds.
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says Ms Parata spent months trying to make the scandal go away.
She says calling in the SFO is good news for kohanga kids but they should not have had to wait for months, even years for Government ministers to take concerns over spending by TPO seriously.
Ms Turei says the idea that organisations like the Kohanga Trust could do what they liked with pubic funds just by establishing a business arm was never going to wash with New Zealanders.
She says Te Pataka Ohanga is entirely funded through deductions from the funding given to individual kohanga, and if too much of that money is given to the company, then not enough is spent on kids.
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