Native Affairs - Feathering the Nest Part 2

By Mihingarangi Forbes

At the peak of the Kōhanga Reo movement there were 824 language nests around the country, today just 451 remain.

Last year the Kōhanga Reo Trust took an urgent claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, they asked for more autonomy and less accountability.

They argued that Crown policy had all but crushed the movement, and that 172 Kōhanga were at risk of closure, in effect they were pleading poverty.

While this claim was being made, some of the spending at the top of the movement appears not to be in keeping with the kaupapa of Kōhanga Reo.

Native Affairs made at least 11 attempts to discuss these issues with the Trust and they've declined to appear.

Despite this they've said in the media that, "they were investigating the issues we've raised". 

Native Affairs would like to have asked: "Whose carrying out this investigation?  Is it independent?  Is it retrospective?  Is there going to be a full audit?"

Throughout our investigation the Trust has maintained that TPO and Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust are separate entitites. 

Native Affairs doesn't believe this is the reality.  All TPO's 3 directors are Kōhanga trustees and the Trust is TPO's one and only shareholder. 

Here is Part 2 of our special investigation which was co-produced by Richard Langston, Adrian Stevanon and Annabelle Lee-Harris.