Media release issued on behalf of Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board
Memorandum-Directions of the Waitangi Tribunal on Kohanga Reo Claim
The Waitangi Tribunal has suggested the Chief Executives of Te Puni Kōkiri and Ministry of Education attend mediation
under the supervision of a high powered mediator with Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board to address the Trust Board's
concerns over the Early Childhood Education Taskforce report. The Tribunal has required a report from parties on the
outcome of mediation by midday Friday 16 September 2011. The Memorandum-Directions of the Waitangi Tribunal with
redactions of officials' names as ordered by the Judge is attached. Download pdf
"The Tribunal heard our voice at our hearing for an urgent claim this week, and they have understood the prejudice to
Kōhanga Reo if the Crown was to forge ahead with policy and funding decisions on the basis of a report we have not been
consulted on," said Tina Olsen-Ratana, Co-Chair of the Trust Board.
The Tribunal has suggested a retired judge or politician would be a suitable mediator, and the Tribunal expects a report
on the outcome of the mediation by 16 September 2011.
“The Tribunal has also asked for an update from the Crown on providing an assurance that any future decisions on policy
development or funding of Kōhanga Reo be deferred until the Tribunal has ruled on the matter of urgency.”
The Tribunal has required the Crown to provide key documents about the ECE Taskforce Report, which include derogatory
and potentially defamatory statements. These documents include:
• The date the Minister of Education, the Hon Anne Tolley, received the ECE Taskforce Report; and,
• Any briefing papers or notes provided to the Minister in respect of the ECE Taskforce Report.
"Our concern is that the Minister of Education promised us we would be consulted and we were not, despite derogatory and
potentially defamatory statements about Kōohanga Reo being included in the report. The concern for the Trust Board as
the kaitiaki of Kōhanga Reo is the chilling effect the statements will have on the number of mokopuna participating,"
says Ms Olsen-Ratana
Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board received this news while they were at the coronation of Te Ariki Nui Kiingi
Tuheitia, the Patron of Te Kōhanga Reo.
Ms Olsen-Ratana said, "We are grateful to the Tribunal for acting so fast on our claim and recognising the importance of
Te Reo preservation."