Auditor-General's Te Wananga o Aotearoa Inquiry

22 February 2005

We are currently inquiring into potential conflicts of interest relating to the Te Awamutu-based tertiary institute Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Our preliminary enquiries were initiated in response to a request for an inquiry received in September last year from the then Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education), the Hon Steve Maharey.

As a result of our preliminary work, some other issues emerged. We made a request before Christmas 2004 for the wānanga to supply us with comprehensive information about these issues. The wananga provided its response to this request in early February.

Further allegations have been raised in the public domain during the past week. As a result, we are currently reconsidering the scope of our inquiry.

The Auditor-General has met this week with the Minister of Education, the Hon Trevor Mallard, and will be meeting with the ACT Party to fully understand the range and nature of issues that they have raised.

The Minister has been asked to indicate to us whether there are particular issues and allegations that should be dealt with more urgently than others. The Minister's views will be taken into consideration when the Auditor-General finalises the terms and scope of his inquiry.

The terms of reference will be published on our website. An e-mail subscription service is available, to alert subscribers when such information is published.

Contact for enquiries

Wendy Venter, Assistant Auditor-General
tel: (04) 917 1500