26 Jul 2011

Legislation could be key for Kohanga Reo - minister

8:50 pm on 26 July 2011

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says legislation may be the answer for Kohanga Reo to stop being labelled as early childhood centres.

The national trust for Maori language preschools has filed an urgent claim with the Waitangi Tribunal.

National Kohanga Reo trustee Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says the movement does not want to comply with early childhood regulations because its methods are based on Maori practices, or kaupapa Maori.

Dr Sharples says he will continue talk with the trust and look at ways to move forward.

He believes one option for Kohanga is to pursue special legislation similar to Kura Kaupapa.

The minister says the success of Kohanga or Kura Kaupapa cannot be properly measured if they are being measured by mainstream standards.