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Ed Sheeran

Maori Television decries double standard

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Maori Television is defending the approach it took to a story on alleged misspending in Te Kohanga Reo National Trust.

Audit firm Ernst and Young has started a review the wake of the Native Affairs story to determine whether the trust has the right procedures in place to manage the money it is given for Maori early childhood education.

Julian Wilcox, Maori Television’s head of news and current affairs for Maori Television, says he is disappointed the story has become about the reporting, rather than the substance of the concerns raised by kohanga reo from Tauranga and Mataatua.

He rejects criticism that the spending being questioned only totalled about $10,000.

"What’s at issue isn‘t the amount of money. What’s at issue is that the kohanga reo movement, ie the kohanga reo centres, have a strict set of policies that they must abide by, and what we are talking about is a different set of standards that was exposed in the story broadcast by Native Affairs. How come those at the grass roots have a strict set of rules that they must adhere to and abide by, whereas others in the movement do not," Mr Wilcox says.

He says he respects Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi for the service she has given the kaupapa of kohanga reo, but the kaupapa is bigger than any individual.

Copyright © 2013, UMA Broadcasting Ltd

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