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A New Broom Needed to Sweep the Pathway for Kohanga

A New Broom Needed to Sweep the Pathway for Kohanga
Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau
Wednesday 19 March 2014

“Two years ago the Waitangi Tribunal found that successive governments had breached the Treaty of Waitangi by systemically failing to fund and support Kōhanga Reo’s Māori language strategy, and called on government to apologise for its failings and appoint an independent adviser to oversee an urgent programme to: overhaul policy, increase participation, improve quality, increase funding, and provide the support necessary for upgrade and maintenance of Kōhanga facilities,” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

“Last year, the independent advisor, Michael Cullen, tabled his report which supported the Tribunal’s rulings and recommended that Kōhanga should have its own legislation, funding and qualifications framework.”

“And yet all of that good work has been paralysed by allegations of misspending by a National Kōhanga Reo Trust subsidiary, and an investigation that looked at something else – what a complete waste of time that was!”

“I’m gutted that the good work of Kōhanga has been put on hold. I’m gutted that the talk about poor governance and bad management has created major divisions within the Kōhanga Reo Movement. I’m gutted that people who are busting their arses out there to keep the fires burning are still struggling to get by because funding, maintenance, and management issues are not being addressed. And I am bloody pissed off that at the bottom of it all, our kids are missing out because adults have screwed up.”

“There is a level of unhappiness and mistrust within the Movement that must be dealt with, and widespread concern that the leadership has lost touch with the people” said Harawira.

“It’s time to clear house and let new trustees rebuild the faith of the whānau in Kōhanga Reo.”

“I recommend that senior trustees of the National Trust step down from the Trust and allow new trustees to run the affairs of the Kōhanga Reo Movement, and that a new strategy be adopted to ensure Kōhanga Reo is seen to be more inclusive, more positive, more proactive, and more welcoming to new whānau and new tamariki.”


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