April 08, 2014
Kohanga contract axed
Te Kohanga Reo National Trust has been told it is to lose its $2.5 million operational funding because of the way it has responded to alleged misspending in its commercial subsidiary Te Pataka Ohanga.
In a letter to the trust, Education Minister Hekia Parata and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples said they were forced to refer the issue to the Serious Fraud Office because the trust failed to respond in a timely manner.
They also called for an end to lifetime appointments to the board, more democratic representation and more transparency.
Te Pataka Ohanga, which bulk-buys goods and services on behalf of individual kohanga reo, would need to be replaced.
The trust’s annual contract with the Education Ministry won’t be renewed after June 30, although a new arrangement would be looked into.
Kohanga Reo spokesperson Derek Fox says the trust rejects the ministers’ criticism, and the letter comes across as a grab for control of the kohanga reo movement by the government.
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