December 11, 2014
Democracy push for Kohanga Reo
An end to lifetime appointments to the Kohanga Reo National Trust and democratic regional elections to appoint trustees could be in the offing.
Those are among recommendations being put by a working party to kohanga reo whanau at a national hui at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia today.
Te Kohanga Reo Governance Party was appointed in April as the movement tried to respond to reports of alleged misspending within trust subsidiary Te Pataka Ohanga.
Those reports by Maori Television’s Native Affairs programme led to a series of investigations and the departure of the company’s chief executive, Lynda Tawhiwhirangi.
While the investigations found no misuse of public money, the trust subsequently sacked trustee and Te Pataka Ohanga director Toni Waho for telling ministers the investigators had not been told the whole story.
Mr Waho is challenging his dismissal through the courts.
The working party recommends the current trustees stay on to conclude negotiations with the Crown on the movement’s Waitangi Tribunal claim.
In future the trust should be made up of seven to 12 members elected from rohe who have kohanga reo and governance experience.
King Tuheitia should remain as patron and be joined by former chief executive and chair Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi as patroness.
They, along with professors Timoti Karetu and Wharehuia Milroy, would form a Kahui Rangatira to provide guidance and oversight on kaupapa and tikanga matters to the trust.
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