The late night press conference and mischaracterisation of the report into the independent audit into Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust by cabinet ministers involved is shameful, Taxpayers Union executive director Jordan Williams says.
"The Ernst Young review did not even look at the key allegations at Te Pataka Ohanga. It’s not vindication, it’s a whitewash.”
Speaking on National Radio this morning Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board media adviser Derek Fox said Te Pataka Ohanga directors had brought in outside assistance to mount their own investigation. Asked for details of the investigation, he said it was a private matter for a private company, just as Whitcoulls (to use his example) would not share details of an internal investigation.
At a press conference at 8pm last night ,Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Pita Sharples said the independent EY review had shown the trust’s financial controls are effective.
“The trust receives $92 million a year in public funding. It was important, given allegations about inappropriate credit card use at the Trust’s private company Te Pataka Ohanga, to establish that there were proper financial controls around the public funding provided for kōhanga reo,” Ms Parata said.
“The Ernst & Young Review shows that the trust was legitimately buying services for Kōhanga Reo from Te Pātaka Ohanga and there was no misuse of public monies in this regard.
“It found the trust’s financial controls are effective for an operation of its size and complexity but some improvements are needed around credit card returns and koha payments.
“The key allegation that public money, meant for teaching kids, was used for dresses, fuel and cash withdrawals, was ignored,” Mr Williams says.
“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."
Mr Fox says the report found no wrong doing. "It's written in English. People should read it for themselves," he said on RNZ this morning.
RAW DATA: The EY Report | Read the Minister and Associate Education's statement
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- Auckland Airport's job skills hub extended to other local companies
- Shanghai Maling quizzed about historic melamine scandal, luncheon meat recall, papers show
- MPI blocks palm kernel-carrying ship from NZ over biosecurity risks
- $8.3m ponzi scheme may have hundreds of victims: SFO
- While you were sleeping: Earnings disappoint
Most listened to
- Prime Minister John Key talks up the FTA with India, ahead of his trip to the sub-continent next week
- Auckland Airport's Adrian Littlewood on what's being done to sustain new airline routes
- Super Fund CEO Adrian Orr on its new climate change strategy
- In Editor's Insight, Nevil Gibson sees dangers for the chaebol system in Korea
- Wine marketer Nina Stojnic says lifestyle wines have less alcohol and fewer calories but retain the flavor