25 Mar 2014

Parata accused of "deliberate cover up"

9:56 am on 25 March 2014

Labour leader David Cunliffe has accused Education Minister Hekia Parata of a deliberate cover-up in her response to allegations of misspending by the Kohanga Reo National Trust.

An independent review by Ernst & Young cleared the trust itself of any wrongdoing but the financial activity of the trust's commercial arm, Te Pataka Ohanga, did not fall within the scope of the review.

Ms Parata then asked the Serious Fraud Office to investigate Te Pataka Ohanga, saying she had heard new allegations.

Mr Cunliffe said Ms Parata excluded Te Pataka Ohanga when she wrote the terms of reference for the Ernst & Young review and he says that was part of a deliberate cover-up.

Mr Cunliffe said Ms Parata made a false claim when she said Te Pataka Ohanga is not publicly funded and he's also questioned whether the new allegations she subsequently cited really were new.