Topic: Education

Former CEO withdraws legal action against TWoA

By Harata Brown

The former CEO of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA) Dr Rongo Wetere has withdrawn legal action against one of the country's biggest tertiary education providers.

Wetere launched an $11.2mil civil suit against TWoA, alleging breach of intellectual property and copyright infringement.

TWoA's current CEO Jim Mather labelled the legal action "hōhā." He says, “It was a nuisance, but now we can move on and continue with TWoA's legacy.”

At the end of 2014, it was reported that Wetere claimed TWoA had indirectly copied the whole or a substantial part of the Te Ara Reo Māori Programme in breach of Aotearoa Institute's property rights.

Mather said, “I know that this matter has been settled between the Aotearoa Institute and TWoA. Rongo Wetere and his colleagues haven't been back to work here since then.”

Wetere and Susan Cullen couldn't be contacted for comment. TWoA say no settlement payment was ever considered. Mather says, “Now our whānau here at TWoA are relieved to know that Rongo Wetere has withdrawn this court action.”

Mather says they are now well positioned to move into the next stage of their long-term strategy implementation.