Kōhanga may finally have their voice heard at National Trust level

By Maiki Sherman

For months now a number of kōhanga have been calling for a voice at the National Trust board level as well as more transparency of managerial operations.

Today, draft models were sent to them which may see that come to fruition.    

The first model is Kōwhai.

It will consist of 11 board members. Five appointed by kōhanga, five selected by an electoral process and one for a representative of King Tuheitia. In terms of the kōhanga, the appointments will be made through ten regions from Northland to the South Island.   

The second model is Mātai.

It will consist of nine members. Seven from language regions including Te Tai Tokerau, Tainui, Te Arawa, Te Tai Rawhiti, Te Tai Hauauru, Te Waipounamu and Mataatua. Two will be chosen by the two major cities.

The tenure will be 4 years, Te Pātaka Ohanga will close but its functions moved under the governance of the Trust.

The third model is Totara.

It will consist of nine members. Five will be appointed by kōhanga, that is the ten kōhanga regions. Three will be selected by the Board. One member will represent King Tuheitia. The tenure will be 4-5 years on the board. 

Finally, the fourth model is Rimu.

It will consist of seven executive board members. Three will be selected by Te Whare o Te Kōhanga. Three will be selected through an ellectoral college process. One will be represantative of King Tuheitia. Te Whare o Te Kōhanga Reo is a board of 30. Three each will be chosen from each of the ten regions.    

In all of the models there is also a suggestion to establish a council of those leaders, cultural and language experts within kōhanga, going by the name of Te Kahui Rangatira. They would act in a supporting role to the board and monitor the board's progress against its objectives.

So there are four models for a new governance structure of the National Trust. Whether or not they will be supported by kōhanga whanau, only time will tell.