Politics | Kōhanga Reo

Some kōhanga reo expected to miss out on $12m property maintenance

Kōhanga reo received a $12 million boost from the 2024 government to spend over four years for property maintenance and upgrade cost pressures but Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust tumu whakarae Angus Hartley says some kōhanga will still have to miss out.

“That $12 million was not the final amount, it’s not what we applied for, and we had a work programme in place around that with that expectation that we would try to get that full amount.

“After we reprioritise the work programme again and have that discussion with whānau, we will have to go out and start that conversation all over again with our whānau because some [kōhanga] are going to miss out.”

Hartley did not disclose how much more they had applied for but did say it was “significantly more,” which he said would had covered at least 50 kōhanga reo over the course of three years.

He was disappointed by the amount granted due to some buildings needing urgent repairs.

“Some kōhanga on the outside you have doubts about but the wairua inside is different.

“Some of them need urgent repairs, and we prioritise those.

“The quick fix ones we prioritise those, otherwise their license is under threat, so we have to prioritise and take that into consideration,” Hartly said.

His comments came off the back of Education Minister Erica Stanford’s post-budget tour, where she met the Kōhanga Reo National Trust at Te Kōhanga Reo o Te Rāhuitanga to talk about her $12 million allocation for property maintenance.

“We know how important it is to ensure the sustainability of this movement and that extra, additional $3 million a year above the $5 million ongoing from baselines was so important to be able to give this sector the certainty that they needed,” she said.

It was Stanford’s first time visiting a kōhanga reo.

“It’s most important for me to get out and actually understand where the answers to some of the problems lie, and it’s not in Wellington. Its actually here in these centres talking with kaiako, principals, leaders and iwi out around the country.”