Topic: Kōhanga Reo

High Court releases decision on Kōhanga Reo Trust case

By Maiki Sherman

The decision in Kōhanga Reo Trust Board member Toni Waho's High Court case against the National Kōhanga Reo Trust and to the chairperson, Tina Olsen-Ratana has been released. 

The Judge has refused the application by Toni Waho, that application being an interim injunction to stop the Board from holding a special meeting to authorise his removal as a trustee.

The Judge says he is not satisfied that Toni Waho demonstrated a seriously arguable question to be tried and that the decision of the trustees and that for Tina Olsen-Ratana is reviewable by the Court.

Toni Waho says, “So the Judge concluded there was no basis on which the Court should intervene in Trust business. I'm sad and obviously not happy. However, I stand by my decision to inform the Ministers.

I'm now going to return to my supporters and we will decide where to from here. I will be searching for avenues within the court of law and independently. I believe I can work alongside the board. It's the allegations that have not yet been resolved is what needs attention.”

So as we've heard in those statements by Toni Waho, this issue relates to misspending allegations.

Toni Waho claims those allegations came from Rakai Tawhiwhirangi, son of Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi.

Waho says the allegations were eight pages long, some of them very serious against the National Trust and Te Pātaka Ōhanga that to this day still haven't been addressed. The National Trust Board denies that.

Toni Waho sent those allegations to appropriate Ministers at the time, Hekia Parata and Dr Pita Sharples.

As we know the Serious Fraud Office was called in where they found no criminal offending but failures in corporate governance.

The Board says that action taken by Toni Waho brought it into disrepute, which is why they are aiming to remove him as a trustee.