Te Matatini release statement on Whare Wānanga investigation

By Heeni Brown

In relation to the investigation of the management of the National Certificate in Tourism Māori 'Hei Manaaki', a course provided by Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Te Matatini released a statement with an understanding that members of the host volunteer force at the Te Matatini Festival in Rotorua last year are also a part of that investigation process.

Te Matatini acknowledge that volunteers are the backbone for their festivals and if it weren't for them there wouldn't be a National Te Matatini Festival.

Now, some are at the centre of an investigation into a Māori tourism course which involves an alleged overspending of nearly $6 million dollars.

"For every festival there is a regional hosting committee that operates in conjunction with Te Matatini but is a separate entity," says Darrin Apanui.

Te Matatini understands that 83 members of the host volunteer force for the 2013 Te Matatini National Festival in Rotorua are inclusive of an investigation into the management of the delivery of the level 4 and 5 qualification programme provided by Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

Darrin Apanui says, "The delivery of the qualification was an initiative instigated by the Te Arawa Hosting Committee for Te Matatini when it was held in Rotorua. At no stage did Te Matatini, the organisation, receive any funds to deliver this qualification."

Up to 100 players and staff of the Warriors club are also caught up in the investigation after having completed an 18 week course in 1 day, but yesterday they told us they are confident they did everything that was asked of them.

Te Kāea tried to reach the Te Arawa Kapa Charitable Trust Chair, Anaru Grant but he is yet to return our calls on the issue.