March 23, 2014
Turia welcomes scrutiny of Kohanga arm
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says investigations into Kohanga Reo are finally looking in the right direction.
Responsible minister Hekia Parata and Pita Sharples last week released an Ernst & Young report clearing the Kohanga Reo National Trust of any misuse of the $90 million a year it was paid to support early childhood education.
But the next day she asked the Serious Fraud Office to investigate spending at the trust’s commercial subsidiary, Te Pataka Ohanga.
Mrs Turia says that is where the focus should have gone when the matter was first raised last October.
"In the end this is about bad press, this is about the media who whenever there is an issue within Maori communities, run away with the wrong end of the stick, and as far as I am concerned I believe that the National Kohanga Reo Trust has been treated very badly in terms of their performance to our tamariki. The performance of their subsidiary company I believe should be under scrutiny," she says.
Mrs Turia says the structure of Te Pataka Ohanga as a private company may have shielded it from the initial investigation, but it is important that its performance as a supplier of services to individual kohanga is looked at.
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