June 10, 2014
Kohanga crowing over SFO decision
The Kohanga Reo National Trust has welcomed the Serious Fraud Office’s finding that there was no criminal offending in relation to allegations of misuse of funds held by its Te Pataka Ohanga subsidiary.
The SFO says it’s satisfied credit card spending on personal items such as a wedding dress was done in error and the money was reimbursed.
Kohanga Reo spokesperson Derek Fox says the allegations affected the trust’s reputation and the confidence the individual kohanga have in it.
Its priority is now to develop the new governance structure called for by a national hui.
It also wants to restart talks with the crown over a settlement to the issues raised in a Waitangi Tribunal report two years ago.
"And so the trust is saying it's time now. You've instigated three different inquiries into our activities. All of those have come up short. It's time to get on wth negotiating first of all some proper funding for the kohanga reo movement and secondly to make good the things that the Waitangi Tribunal pointed out," Mr Fox says.
He says the Serious Fraud Office decision shows the Maori Television report which kicked off the investigation was untrue.
But New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is defending the whistleblowers who came forward with concerns about governance and alleged misspending at Te Kohanga Reo National Trust.
Mr Peters says its performance on the Winebox allegations shows the SFO doesn’t always get it right.
He says the fact it has prompted changes in the trust shows there was some validity in what they were saying.
"When the whistleblowers in the Kohanga Reo case made their complaints there were a lot of legitimate complaints and it doesn't mean just becase it survives an SFO inquiry that certain structural and organisational and accounting matters need to seriously be improved," Mr Peters says.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH DEREK FOX CLICK ON THE LINK
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WIWTH WINSTON PETERS CLICK ON THE LINK
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