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Community Fund For Maori Language Development

Sunday 29 July 2001

$15 Million Community Fund For Maori Language Development

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia believes there will be tremendous support and interest in the new $15 million Community fund for Maori language projects, which he launched today as part of Maori language week.

The Minister announced the details of the scheme on the TVNZ's Marae programme. The aim of the fund is to provide financial assistance to whanau, hapu, iwi and Maori organisations to run their own programmes, projects and activities to further the revitalization of te Reo Maori.

"The Government has a number of initiatives, like the recently announced Maori television plans, to promote and strengthen te Reo Maori. This new fund is special because it addresses the demand for projects by the community, for the community.

$2 million of the fund will be available for distribution in each of the first three years. The remaining principal will be invested.

A management committee of four government and four Maori representatives will consider and approve the applications. The four Maori representatives will be appointed after consultation with Maori stakeholder groups. The government representatives will come from Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Maori (the Maori language Commission), Te Mangai Paho, Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Education.

The fund will be held and administered by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, who will also provide administrative support to the management committee.

"The next priority is to get the scheme up and running and I am hopeful that interested groups will be able to apply early next year."

A range of selected proposals will be evaluated each year to measure the success of the projects, the value of the scheme overall and whether the $2 million cap should be changed after three years.

Mr Horomia paid tribute to the former Minister of Maori Affairs Tau Henare who originally secured the funding, saying the fund will assist communities to design solutions to their own needs.

"Projects may be large or small, short or long term. For example several families may want to come together to learn te Reo Maori. A community may want a worker to assist in developing local Maori language activities.

"A language will die if it is not used and I truly believe that the heart of language revitalization lies in the community."

Ends

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