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Money needed to protect local Te Reo dialects

13 March 2014

Money needed to protect local Te Reo dialects

Everyone should have the right to learn Te Reo Māori in their local dialect and in their local community, according to a policy paper Māori tertiary educators plan to launch in Whangārei tomorrow.

Māori members of the Tertiary Education Union Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa will launch their Kaupapa Whaioranga – a blueprint for Māori tertiary education at their annual Hui-ā-Motu tomorrow, at NorthTec’s Te Puna ō Te Mātauranga Marae.

TEU’s Te Tumu Arataki, James Houkāmau, says local communities need more support and more money to protect their local language.

“There is not enough support for New Zealanders to learn their language in their local community. Providing Te Reo lessons a hundred kilometres down the road from where the students are because one language provider tendered a cheaper price than another provider doesn’t just mean students miss out, it also means local dialects suffer.”

Te Kaupapa Whaioranga also calls for an end to age-based restrictions on student loans and allowances, saying they unfairly discriminate against older Māori students. The document advocates for a recruitment and retention strategy for Māori staff in tertiary education so their numbers are at least proportionate to the number of Māori students at each institution.

James Houkāmau says Hui-ā-Motu will present Te Kaupapa Whaioranga to politicians tomorrow evening. He expects the politicians who attend to pick up its challenges for a better, fairer more inclusive tertiary education system.

Details for the launch of Te Kaupapa Whaioranga:

Venue: Te Puna ō Te Mātauranga Marae, 55 Raumanga Valley Road, Whangārei
Date: Friday 14 March
Time: 5pm

ENDS

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