20 Mar 2014

Kohanga manager questions SFO action

7:48 am on 20 March 2014

Kohanga reo in the Taranaki & Whanganui (Aotea) districts say the referral of the movement's commercial arm to the Serious Fraud Office for investigation is alarming news.

Ms Parata has referred what she describes as unsubstantiated allegations of mis-spending by Te Pataka Ohanga - the commercial arm of the Kohanga Reo National Trust - to the Serious Fraud Office.

On Tuesday night, Ms Parata said an independent audit had found no misuse of public funds by the trust, but spending by Te Pataka Ohanga is not considered to be public money so the review didn't cover the operation.

Te Kohanga Reo district manager for Aotea, Ruka Broughton, says he is happy with the outcome of the independent audit, because it would have been done objectively, and says the national trust's books have always been open which demonstrates an element of transparency.

Mr Broughton questions what solid information Ms Parata has to refer the matter of Te Pataka Ohanga's spending to the Serious Fraud Office.

The minister on Wednesday said further allegations have been made but would not say whether they relate to the same staff as the original allegations, nor the sum of money involved. She said the fresh allegations had been made to both her and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and had been presented by a range of people.