The Government's been found to have failed in its duty of protecting Maori language and kohanga reo schools.
The Waitangi Tribunal's ruled in favour of the claim lodged by the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust.
It alleged the Crown had breached the Treaty of Waitangi in its treatment of kohanga reo and effectively assimilated it into the Government's early childhood education system.
The Waitangi Tribunal's found the Crown failed to sustain the needs of kohanga reo, failed to meet agreements made with the Trust, and failed to actively protect te reo.
It's recommending the Crown apologise for the breaches and appoint an advisor to fix the problems.
Te Kohunga Reo Trust says it needs at least $11 million to prevent a third of its early childhood centres closing.
172 centres that educate 3,000 children don't meet the building code.
The revelation comes in a Waitangi Tribunal report that's found funding is a serious problem, which has led to a depressed building stock.
National Te Kohanga Reo Trust deputy chair Toni Waho says the money is needed immediately to address the building issues.
"It's too early for us to submit the figure on correcting the inequity, that is definitely our interest through the proposed independent advisor."
Toni Waho says it is essential Kohunga Reo centres continue so the language can be protected and revitalised.
The lawyer for the national trust that brought the case before the tribunal is Mai Chen.
She says the message is to the government, don't mess with success.
"This is a movement that they devised, it was going very well. Your job is to preserve it and promote it, your job is not to undermine and kill it."
Mai Chen says the problem is easy to fix and doesn't require a lot more money - it's about reassessing priorities.
As always, the government doesn't have to act on the tribunal's findings.
Photo: Edward Swift