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Plans needed to revitalise nga reo o te Tai Hauaur

Plans needed to revitalise nga reo o te Tai Hauauru

The MP for Te Tai Hauauru and Associate Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon. Tariana Turia, welcomed today’s release of a report from Te Puni Kokiri on the health of te reo Maori in Te Tai Hauauru.

“This report provides very useful information to the people of Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu on the state of te reo Maori in the region,” said Tariana Turia. “How appropriate that it should be released on United Nations Day for Cultural Heritage.”

“However the picture we see gives no reason for complacency. The report concludes that te reo Maori is in a stable state for now, but further action is required to restore it to its proper place in the life of the people.

“Census data show that around a quarter of young to middle-aged people have the reo – while almost half of older people are speakers. Of the people who are highly proficient, half are in the oldest age group. In general terms, the picture is that the language had been in a steep decline, but is stabilising.

“It is also clear that attitudes towards te reo Maori are generally positive, with two thirds of speakers not being satisfied with their level of competence, and nearly three thousand adults in the region taking classes of some kind. This is excellent.

“But using te reo is a community thing. The report draws a clear link between the oppression of tangata whenua following confiscation and alienation of lands, and the loss of te reo amongst our people in following generations. It says the education system alone will not revitalise te reo Maori – it is up to our whanau and hapu communities to start using te reo at home and in our community business.

“This will not happen by accident. We need strategies and action plans. This report provides a sound basis for our planning,” said Tariana Turia.

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