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Media release from the Taxpayers' Union

MEDIA RELEASE

KōHANGA REO PROBE A COMPLETE WHITEWASH

19 MARCH 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Responding to last night’s release of the independent audit into Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:

“The late night press conference and mischaracterisation of the report by the Ministers is shameful. The Ernst Young review did not even look at the key allegations at Te Pataka Ohanga. It’s not vindication, it’s a whitewash.”
 
“The key allegation that public money, meant for teaching kids, was used for dresses, fuel and cash withdrawals, was ignored.”
 
“The fact that the alleged misappropriation occurred within a subsidiary company and not Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust is irrelevant. What other publicly funded entity can avoid audit scrutiny by simply creating a subsidiary company? If this attitude was the norm, the public audit process would be meaningless.”
 
“The characterisation by Hekia Parata that the Trust's commercial arm does not receive taxpayer funding is cute. TPO provides support to individual kōhanga reo and receives funding via them."
 
“Instead of getting to the bottom of the allegations, Hekia Parata and Dr Pita Sharples have chosen to turn a blind eye to what are serious allegations,” concludes Mr Williams.
 
The report is available here:
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/theMinistry/InformationReleases/TeKohangaReoNationalTrustPublicFundingReview.aspx

The statement from the Minister and Associate Minister of Education is here:
http://beehive.govt.nz/release/release-independent-audit-te-k%C5%8Dhanga-reo-national-trust

ENDS

ENQUIRIES:
Jordan Williams
021 762 542

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is a non-partisan activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It’s here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.

The Taxpayers’ Union operates a 24 hour media line for comment on taxpayer issues. Representatives are available on (04) 282 0302.

High resolution images and logos are available on request or online at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/pages/resources

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