National | Shane Jones

Politicians weigh in on issues facing Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust

Given the complexities of the issues facing Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, it's no wonder Te Ururoa Flavell seems unclear.

The Māori Party met with members of the national board in the last couple of days, saying one of the issues discussed was the state of the board.

Legal processes mean the decision to dismiss Druis Barrett from Te Pātaka Ōhanga is being disputed.

It's understood the decision was a result of her objection to an exit package still under negotiation between Lynda Tawhiwhirangi and the trust board.

According to Te Ururoa Flavell, “That wasn't discussed and we didn't ask about that issue because we believe that in the end that's a decision for the board.”

The audit report has already been given to the trust board for perusal.

Once returned to the auditors, it will then be handed over to the ministry and ministers.

Te Kāea spoke with Hekia Parata this week around the delay in its release.

Hekia Parata says, “First it's given to kōhanga for fact-checking.

“Once the report is full and final, it will be given to me and I'm currently still waiting for it.”

It's understood a figure of around $400,000 is being discussed between the national board and Lynda Tawhiwhirangi.

Shane Jones says those conversations should be put on hold until all the allegations regarding the misuse of funds have been cleared during Lynda Tawhiwhirangi's former role as the general manager of Te Pātaka Ōhanga.

“The way I see it, its best if not one cent is handed over until all investigations are complete so we know whether or not the allegations she faces have any truth to them.”

This week, Te Kāea has made numerous requests for an interview with either of the co-chairs of Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust but to no avail.

However, it's expected at the end of this month the audit report will be released at which point we may hear from them.