Minister comments on Serious Fraud Office findings

By Maiki Sherman

For the first time, following the release of investigation findings regarding Te Pātaka Ōhanga, Education Minister Hekia Parata has given an interview on the matter.  She told Te Kāea, despite no criminal offending having been identified by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), there are still areas which need improvement, something which was also identified in the investigation by Internal Affairs.

It was Hekia Parata who called in the SFO. It found no criminal offending.  The National Trust says it's owed a few apologies.  The Minister says, not from her.    

She says, "There was no criminal offending, but there were errors and they need to address those."

According to a press release by the National Trust, there is now no reason to postpone the Kōhanga Reo's Treaty claim.

However, the Minister says the answer to that is already in this letter sent by her and Pita Sharples a couple of months ago.  

That governance restructure won't be implemented until at least the end of the year, so the claim will continue to remain on hold.

The Minister says if blame is being sought, the National Trust should look at itself, given its failure to sort the problem promptly last year.  

The focus now is on regional meetings conducted by the working party regarding a new governance structure, in the hope a way forward be identified.