Topic: Education

$250,000 school trip to Rarotonga

updated By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Two hundred and fifty-one students, staff, and associated caregivers of Te Whare Kura o Hoani Waititi Marae visited Rarotonga in 2016. The purpose of this trip was to achieve educational outcomes connected with the founding principles of “Te Aho Matua”.

Chairman of the school, Mahanga Pihama says the report is misleading.

“You have to put it into context because of the complexities of the situation, it wasn't added to the report. First of all the money was there, fundraised by the school, second, the intangible benefits and experiences our students got (from the trip to Rarotonga) was somehow left out of the report.”

To meet the $399,104 cost of the trip, the Kura fundraised $50,455, received $82,066 from whanau contributions, and used $21,466 from the transport allowance. The Kura funded the balance of $249,632, which contributed to the Kura's deficit.

“If Waititi was doing dodgy things, we should be scared, we should be concerned. But we haven't, so we are fine.” Mr. Pihama told Te Kaea.

Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, Cathy Dewes admits some Kura Kaupapa struggle financially so they have provided financial advice.

"We have a new government now, I’m hoping this is an issue they will be able to assist us and guide us."

The Ministry of Education is now dealing with the recommendations.

Correction: The original item included a number of kura kaupapa where audits have not been completed.  As such, kura kaupapa with incomplete audits were not the subject of any misconduct on misappropriate use of funds.  Te Kāea apologises for any confusion or anxiety to our kura kaupapa whānau.

For full Auditor General’s report: