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Speech: Sharples - Launch of Māori Language Week


Hon Dr Pita R Sharples
Minister of Māori Affairs

Launch of Māori Language Week 2011
Monday 4 July 2011, 9:00 AM

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• Tuatahi, kei te mihi atu ki nga mana whenua, ki te tangata whenua nana te karanga i tenei ra.

• Kei te mihi atu ki Te Taura Whiri, ki te whare whakamaru i te reo Maori, na koutou tenei kaupapa i kawe i nga tau toru tekau nei.

• Otira kei te mihi atu ki nga iwi o nga hau e wha, ki nga tohunga, ki nga rangatira, ki nga kaimahi kawanatanga, koutou katoa kua eke mai nei ki raro i te tuanui o tenei wharewaka, ki te whakanui i te Wa o te Reo Maori.

• Ko tenei kaupapa, ara te Wa o te Reo Maori, hei waka mo to tatou reo, hei kawe i to tatou reo ki te pae tawhiti, ki te ao hou.

• I whakamanutia tenei waka i te tau 1972, i te tau i tapaetia te pitihana ki te Whare Paremata, kia akona te reo Maori i roto i nga kura tuatahi katoa o te motu.

• A te tau e tu mai nei, ka wha tekau nga tau kua pahure, a, ka taea te ki, he ao hou tenei mo te reo Maori.

• Ko taku whakapae, ahakoa kaore ano to tatou waka kia u ki uta, ahakoa nga moana pukepuke e ekengia tonutia e tatou i enei ra, kei te mohio tatou, he ao hou kei te whakatata mai.

• No reira me mihi, me mihi ki nga tipuna na ratou tenei taonga a te Atua i tuku iho mai ki a tatou. Na ratou te ki, he tohu mana to tatou reo, he tikitiki mo o tatou mahunga, he waiu mo nga uri whakatipu.

• Ki au, ko te reo rangatira te ngako o te rangatiratanga, ko te ha o te ao Maori.

• No reira me mihi ano hoki ki nga tohunga na ratou tenei waka o te reo Maori i tarai, ki nga toa hoe i te waka, ki nga kaihautu i arataki i a tatou katoa.

• I nga wiki tata nei, i whakanuitia etahi. Kua tohua Ta Tamati Reedy raua ko te Kahurangi Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira. Kua tohua a Cathy Dewes, ratou ko Kuini Moehau Reedy, ko Heneriata Maxwell – ratou katoa mo a ratou mahi whakapumau i te reo.

• Ki au, ko enei whakahonoretanga, he tohu pai mo to tatou reo, ahakoa nga hau e pupuhi tonu ana, ahakoa nga ngaru e papaki mai ana ki to tatou waka, he aio kei te haere.

• He tohu ano, ara, ko nga whakatau a te Kawanatanga mo te reo Maori.

• Tuatahi, ko te Paepae Motuhake, i arotake i te rautaki me te rangai reo Maori, kia hoki ano tatou ki te kaupapa, kia tika ano ai te haere. Kaore ano te Kawanatanga kia whakatau, me pehea ta matou whakautu ki Te Paepae Motuhake, engari kei te whakarongo matou ki nga korero.

• Tuarua, i roto i te Tohanga Putea i tenei tau, he nui nga painga mo te reo Maori.

• Ahakoa te paheketanga ohanga i nga tau tata nei:

o e ono tekau miriona taara i tohua mo te hanga kura kaupapa Maori;

o e ono miriona mo te hanga marautanga e hangai ana ki Te Aho Matua;

o e iwa miriona mo nga akoranga reo Maori i waenganui i te hapori, penei me Te Ataarangi;

o e waru miriona hei whakahaere pahi ki nga kura kaupapa Maori;

o tekau ma whitu miriona hei whakawhanui ake i Te Kotahitanga

o e ono miriona neke atu kia whakahaeretia nga akoranga korero pukapuke, tuhutuhi hoki i runga i te kaupapa whanau.

• I runga i te kaupapa mo tenei tau, ara, o Manaakitanga, tera ka kiia kei te huri te kawanatanga ki te manaaki i te reo Maori.

• Ki au, ma te manaaki a tetahi iwi i tetahi, ma te whakarangatira a tetahi i tetahi, ma te aroha o tetahi ki tetahi, ka tutuki nga matapono o te Tiriti o Waitangi.

• Hei reira ra ano, ka puawai ai te reo Maori, ka korerotia whanuitia i te mata o te whenua, ka kaingakautia e nga tangata katoa o te motu.

• Māori Language Week has been important in creating critical awareness about the role of the language not just in terms of Māori identity, but also as the basis for a wider national identity.

• Several key events happened this year in relation to the reo that I want to touch on.

• First, the Budget[1] announced significant investments to strengthen school and community-based language initiatives. Some specific examples included:

o The reallocation of $2m within Vote: Māori Affairs to extend the term of the Mā Te Reo fund;

o Further support for iwi radio to develop and implement Māori language plans that reflect their communities’ aspirations;

o $9 million over four years to support iwi to develop school and community-based language initiatives; and

o $3 million over three years to support Te Runanganui o nga Kura Kaupapa Māori to develop a curriculum and associated resources based on the philosophy of Te Aho Matua.

• We also saw how this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list[2] reflected the value this country places on Māori language as a taonga for everyone.

• The honour bestowed on Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira is a tribute to over forty years of leadership and scholarship in the Māori language revival movement. Her roles in founding Te Ataarangi and driving the establishment of Kura Kaupapa Māori are well known and appropriately celebrated. As a teacher, writer, poet and artist, Dame Katerina has inspired generations of students and shown them the inherent beauty and richness of te reo Māori.

• Dame Katerina was joined this year by several other pioneers of Māori language revival.

• As a leader of Te Reo Māori Society, Cathy Dewes ONZM helped present the 1972 petition to Parliament for Māori to be taught in schools, she promoted the first Māori Language Week, and campaigns for Māori language in education and broadcasting. She is currently the principal of her kura, and a board member of the Māori Television Service.

• And alongside Dame Katerina and Cathy are the ‘faces and voices’ of the Kohanga Reo movement, Kuini Moehau Reedy MNZM and Heneriata Maxwell QSM, who poured so much energy and enthusiasm into the very first kohanga reo, with their stunning compositions and performances of songs for children.

• Another key event was the report of Te Paepae Motuhake the Independent Panel who accepted my invitation to review the Māori Language Strategy and Sector.

• Led by Sir Tāmati Reedy, the purpose of the Review was to identify and support opportunities for enhanced Māori language outcomes, and better coordination and structuring of our whole of government efforts.

• Their report Te Reo Mauriora identifies some key themes that I will be factoring into a new Māori Language Strategy. These include:

o greater emphasis on whānau and community language developments;
o strengthening Crown-Māori relationships;
o greater coordination of Māori Language Services vertically and horizontally; and
o greater effectiveness and efficiency in Māori Language Services

• I have no doubt, there is much more work to do before we can be assured of the full revitalisation of the Māori language.

• As we embark on that mahi, we should draw from every source that we can and make positive adjustments where we can to enhance what is working to revive the Māori language.

• Some new research undertaken by Te Puni Kōkiri which will be released this week contains some useful information.

• The research was on the impact of Māori language services; Māori Television, Iwi Radio and the Mā te Reo and Kōrero Māori websites.

• The research found that each of these services do make a contribution towards greater Māori language use, changes in Māori language learning, and Māori language proficiency gains.

• Listening to Iwi radio, watching Māori Television and using these websites can help us all to learn and use the Māori language.

• We can all help by encouraging communities to promote and support learning and using the Māori language, and supporting iwi, hapū and whānau interest in the long-term survival of the language.

• With that in mind, enjoy your breakfast, enjoy the week and let us continue to promote the language and its revival beyond this week.

KIA ORA

[1] http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/supporting-m%C4%81ori-educational-achievement
[2] http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/minister-welcomes-queen%E2%80%99s-birthday-honours-list

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