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Ma Te Reo Community Language Fund

13 June 2002 Media Statement

Ma Te Reo Community Language Fund

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the challenge of taking our language into our homes and communities will be supported through Ma Te Reo community language grants.

At Uia nga kainga – the Maori Language Conference currently on at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, there is a special acknowledgement of the late Miria Simpson who celebrated her retirement and 80th birthday there just last Saturday.

"Miria Simpson's strong and passionate leadership set us all a challenge to speak our language, to speak it properly, and further, to continue pursuing a deeper understanding of our language. Today the Maori language is in a stronger position than it has been.

"It is critically important, however, that we share the knowledge that we do have of our language within our homes.

"Government is committed to supporting the revitalisation of the Maori language and last July the Ma Te Reo Community Language Fund was established to support Maori language development within communities.

"The purpose of Ma Te Reo is to provide financial assistance to whanau, hapu, iwi and Maori communities to achieve three main objectives. First, we must increase the number of Maori who know the Maori language. Second, we must improve proficiency levels of Maori in the Maori language and thirdly, we must increase the opportunities for Maori to use the language.

"Through Ma Te Reo almost $2 million had been made available for iniatives each year. I am pleased to say at the end of a 6 month process that started in January this year and $1.5 million for 135 initiatives throughout the country is about to be distributed.

"Funding from this round, focuses on the establishment of Maori language plans, information and communication initiatives, language promotion, language competitions, language coordinators, language games and resources, wananga reo and development of Maori language literature. The next application round is expected to open mid-July.

"Government remains steadfast in its commitment to promote the revitilisation of the Maori language," Parekura Horomia said.



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