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Are kohanga reo getting a fair deal?

Labour
2000 web siteLabour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard said the Education Review Office's report into Te Kohanga Reo National Trust raised serious questions about whether individual kohanga reo were getting a fair deal from the trust.

However Trevor Mallard said aspects of the report were inconclusive and he would be seeking more information from the Minister of Education.

"A concern I have heard expressed many times is that the trust retains too great a portion of the Government funding for kohanga reo children. Yet while today's report mentions business ventures the trust has entered into, it fails to state clearly whether or not an adequate portion of kohanga reo funding is reaching the children in individual kohanga reo throughout the country.

"It is not appropriate for an organisation funded by the Government to deliver a service to children and their families, to be making high risk investments.

"Nor does it mention the number of kohanga reo which have lost faith in the national trust and opted out, yet I am aware that this is happening. Surely the review should have investigated the reasons why?

"ERO has raised some interesting points about the relationship between the Crown and the kohanga reo movement which need to be carefully considered by both parties.

"The different perception of what kohanga reo should emphasise and focus on is a matter which needs to be clarified. It is incredibly worrying that the two sides seem worlds apart.

"However, the most important matter to be addressed is the trust's relationship with its stakeholders - the individual kohanga reo whanau which are vital to the ongoing success of the movement," Trevor Mallard said.

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