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Parata calls for SFO probe into trust subsidiary

Education Minister Hekia Parata has asked the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to investigate Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust subsidiary Te Pataka Ohanga (TPO) after further information has come to light suggesting the subsidiary may have misused spending.

Last night Ms Parata and Associate Education Minister Pita Sharples released the independent review of Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust by EY, which says the trust’s financial controls are effective.

However, Taxpayers Union executive director Jordan Williams called the late-night press conference by the ministers “shameful” and said the EY review did not scrutinise the key allegations directed at the subsidiary, Te Pataka Ohanga (TPO).

Existing allegations claimed public money meant for education was used by individuals for clothing, fuel and cash withdrawals. Today Ms Parata says more information has come to light during the past 12 hours and she has asked SFO to investigate.

At the time this was being written, Ms Parata had said she had sent information to SFO but the SFO communications office said no complaint had been received yet.

In 2012, roughly $92 million in public funding was received by, or passed through the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, which has contracts with the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission where it is paid to deliver services.

However, TPO is a subsidiary organisation owned entirely by the trust.

“The Ministry of Education does not have any contractual or financial relationship with Te Pataka Ohanga,” Ms Parata said in an earlier statement.

Ms Parata won’t give details about her request for an SFO investigation, such as the amount of money involved or whom the allegations might be aimed at.

The Serious Fraud Office investigates a variety of circumstances, such as multi-victim investment fraud, fraud involving those in important positions of trust, matters of bribery and corruption and any other case that could significantly damage New Zealand’s reputation for fair and free financial markets without corruption.

The SFO usually investigates fraud of over $2 million but it will investigate under that threshold for other reasons, such as the factual, legal and financial complexity of the alleged fraud, or the preventative impact of a successful prosecution on the wider fraud landscape in New Zealand.

Comments and questions

What a joke this minister is.

Gotta say well done Jordan for aiming at both the left and the right.
Gives your organisation greater credibility in the eyes of the public - keep it up!!

What must be literally dozens of taxpayer funded Maori corporations, trusts, help organisations, have to date been involved in arguably fraudulent behaviour these recent years - and the government has taken care to look the other way. This applies to both the major parties.

In some cases Maori of integrity have themselves complained - and simply been fobbed off.

The situation has now become scandalous. To my knowledge no charges have been laid, or jail sentences imposed to for what has been basically theft - the gross mismanagement of finances, and sharing out the spoils among the whanau.

But then, as we well know, politicians, heavily backing racial separatism, do not hold iwi to the same standards of honesty and integrity that the rest of the country is expected to conform to.

Taxpayers should not even be obliged to fund a Kohanga Reo. The wealthy Maori economy , which stands at $37 billion is well capable of financing Maori language programmes etc. And they're completely irrelevant to most New Zealanders.

Nowhere, under the Treaty of Waitangi agreement, was there ever expressed any stipulation that New Zealanders would be expected to pay heavily - indeed, pay at all - any contribution whatsoever for special treatment for Maori. The tribes were simply to receive the same rights of private property as all non-Maori.

We have been thoroughly conned by radicalised (by no means the majority of) Maori, plus foolish, feel-good but think-poorly white liberal politicians and a poorly performing judiciary. And now Chris Finlayson is proving to be a disaster in his far from transparent handout role.

This is not the way a democracy can function - and still claim to be a democracy and the only way this is going to stop is when we refuse to endorse any political party - that is, don't vote for one... And tell your electorate MP (.if you must vote at all) that you expect him/her to represent you - the majority - not a political party). NZers are being conned.

In other words - if you give a party vote this year you're part of the problem. Unless you vote for the one party dedicated to weeding out this corruption - New Zealand First. But then you'll have to ignore the baying of the mainstream media, won't you?

Close down this TE Kōhanga Reo National Trust immediately. Tax money being used mis-used.

Ohh ohhh look at them (not me)

Bernie Madoff would not even make the B Team in trying to compete with the inherent cunning and fancy financial-footwork deployed by taxpayer-funded Maori "Providers" under threat of scrutiny. The inevitable response of Maori 'Leaders' is to rush to their default position with a haughty "how dare you" and/or "it's none of your business". Then, if all else fails, the racism card is whipped out.
The SFO has had the Ngatata Love case on its desk for nigh-on two years without firing a shot. What's happening - SFO workload too much or madcap manoeuvering to protect Love's 'Mana'?
Until now, Hekia Parata has had the backing of Kiwis of all denominations. Sadly, the Kohanga Reo rort has seen her simply unwilling to leave the Maori tent. In terms of her own career, Ms Parata may well find that, like the fatally flawed Kohanga Reo concept, 'total immersion' has more to do with drowning than enlightenment.

Parata should resign - or be sacked. So should Judith Collins.

Who's next? National is looking sleazy and providing poor accountability to he voting public,.This is a disgraceful situation.

And Labour is going to be better? Right?

It's the old pig fly-past time.