24 Mar 2014

Kohanga trust will 'co-operate' fully

2:22 pm on 24 March 2014

The Kohanga Reo National Trust says it will fully co-operate with an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into allegations of misspending.

Kohanga Reo National Trust HQ in Wellington.

Kohanga Reo National Trust HQ in Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

In a statement released on Monday, the trust says it will co-operate with other investigations being carried out by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Last week, Education Minister Hekia Parata referred Te Pataka Ohanga, which is the commercial arm of the trust, to the SFO over allegations of misspending.

The trust also says it will fast track work it has already started to set the future direction of the organisation, which includes the make-up and membership of the board.

Trust spokesperson Derek Fox said earlier the loans Te Pataka Ohanga made to senior trust members were above board.

Mr Fox said the loans, totalling $180,000, were the sort of transactions any business would carry out. He said they all required interest to be paid.

The loans are on top of allegations credit cards were used by members of the trust's commercial arm for personal items including dresses, airfares and hotels.