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Here’s a Grant... Now Pay Me Back.

Monday 7th May 2001
Donna Awatere Huata Media Release -- Education

ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata today said that it was unbelievable that a Palmerston North Kohanga Reo is having loan repayments deducted from its operating budget to clear a debt it does not owe.

“I will be raising this matter in Select Committee this week," Donna Awatere Huata said.

"The circumstances regarding loans and grants needs to be perfectly clear.

“Te Ao Marama Kohanga Reo applied in 1998 for a $37,421 grant for building alterations. They sought the money on the assumption that it was a non-repayable grant.

“The Auditor-General’s office and the Crown Law Office have ruled that the Ministry of Education broke the law in giving the money to the Kohanga Reo National Trust, which passed the money to the Palmerston North centre.

“The Ministry is intent on getting its money back, and the Government is planning to introduce retrospective legislation to legitimise the repayment options.

“The kohanga reo cannot afford the $15,000 it would take to pursue legal action, so is left having thousands of dollars deducted from its budget every quarter-year.

“This Kohanga Reo has been dealt a raw deal from day one. And the Government obviously has no intention of giving them a fair go,” Donna Awatere Huata said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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