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Take Control of and Promote Matauranga Mâori

22 September 2004

Maori Education Trust Urges Hapû and Iwi to take Control of and Promote Matauranga Mâori

The Mâori Education Trust urges Mâori to be proactive in promoting and developing Matauranga Mâori (all Mâori knowledge and the vision of the world held by Mâori). “We must take ownership of our knowledge and promote its authenticity as a valid knowledge for New Zealand at this time and for the future of this island nation” said Dr Pita. R. Sharples, Chairman of the Trust.

The Mâori Education Trust is concerned at the lack of recognitions within New Zealand Society of Matauranga Mâori. While there has been some support from government for Matauranga Mâori initiatives, it has been very limited and offered as a reaction rather than as a frontline policy. Obvious areas of concern include:

too little has been done to ensure that the education system has enough fluent Mâori speakers for its schools; Mâori radio and Mâori television continue to struggle for resources; Mâori values are poorly integrated in mainstream New Zealand Society; and New Zealand society continues to ignore the Mâori language (even though it is indigenous to this country only) and blatantly mispronounce Mâori place names and even personal names.

Matauranga Mâori is a taonga handed down for hundreds of years within these islands. Recognising the Kaitiakitanga of Matauranga Mâori, Dr Sharples said that the Mâori Education Trust is urging iwi, whanau, hapu and Mâori kaupapa organisations, to build strategies to protect and develop their taonga.

The Mâori Education Trust is keen to raise and discuss these issues with whanau and hapu and to assist them to strengthen their control over the protection and development of their Matauranga Mâori.

The stance taken by the Maori Education Trust is similar to that expressed by Mâori Translators and Interpreters at their hui from 18 - 19 September 2004. They promoted the notions:

That Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Mäori 1987 be recognised as a National Icon and be properly resourced, to be National Authority and Guardian of Te Reo Mäori of Aotearoa

That Regional Iwi and Hapü Authorities provide the Tino Rangatiratanga relationship from its own Taura Whiri I Te Reo; and

That Nga Whare Ariki, Whare Rangatira and National Mäori Organisations including Te Putahi Päho and Te Hau Tikanga (Mäori Legal Services) endorse the notions expoused.

ENDS

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