Following the story of financial mismanagement at Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust. Native Affairs wanted to know what checks and balances were in place to monitor an organisation that receives so much public funding.
We've asked the office of the Minister of Maori Affairs, The Office of the Auditor General, the charities commission and the Crown monitoring unit.. All of these entities denied they were responsible for monitoring and they all refered us to the Ministry of Education.. This evening Native Affairs received a joint statement from Education Minister Hekia Parata and the Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples which says..
“The Kōhanga Reo National Trust receives funding from the Government to fund early childhood education services. This funding, which totalled approximately $80 million in the last financial year, is monitored by the Ministry of Education and subject to random audits. The Ministry has advised us that there have been no irregularities in this process, however we will be meeting with the Trust to discuss these issues that have been raised.”
Native Affairs has made repeated requests for an interview with the Education Minister Hekia Parata and the Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples, both declined. So joining me in studio now is the Nanaia Mahuta, Labour party spokesperson for education.