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Government must heed Tribunal on Kōhanga

18 October 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Government must heed Tribunal on Kōhanga

The Waitangi Tribunal’s Report on Kōhanga Reo is a huge win for the Māori language said Labour’s Education Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta and Early Childhood Education Sue Moroney.

“Kōhanga Reo is an educational pathway that enhances the learning opportunities for tamariki in their early years and since its establishment has contributed to more positive outcomes for children who graduate from Wharekura and go further into tertiary education.”

“The key recommendations place a strong emphasis on the Crown working constructively with the Kōhanga Reo Trust, their whānau and communities to enhance the provision of Māori language for pre-schoolers.”

“It’s important that the recommendations are considered carefully. ‘Doing things differently’ must mean seriously improving pathways that enhance educational achievement, success and opportunity for Māori children throughout their lifetime of learning.

“The report highlights the point of difference that Kōhanga Reo bring into the early childhood landscape and I am pleased to see a recommendation proposing further research be done to investigate the long-term benefits of children learning their first language.

“Kōhanga Reo not only develops the capacity of the whole child, it recognises the importance of the whānau and community as important contributors to well-being and success,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

"Government is currently reviewing funding arrangements across early childhood now, based on an Early Childhood Education Taskforce report that was critical of Kohanga Reo and they will need to take the Waitangi Tribunal's finding into consideration," said Labour Early Childhood Spokesperson Sue Moroney


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