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Minister commends Wairoa 2040 Reo Maori Vision

Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Minister of Maori Affairs

10 December 2012 Press Release

Minister commends Wairoa 2040 Reo Maori Vision

Maori Affairs Minister Hon Dr Pita Sharples has congratulated the community of Wairoa for developing Whakatipuranga Ruamanowhatekau, a strategy to become bilingual in Maori and English by the year 2040. The Minister praised the community for driving this strategy from the ground up, and for establishing a kaitiaki group comprising of Te Kohanga Reo, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Te Atarangi and Wairoa Taiwhenua, who have been charged with leading its implementation.

Dr Sharples said “I think that this plan is fantastic. It draws a line in the sand and sets a clear objective - that Wairoa will be bilingual by the year 2040.”

“This is an ambitious but achievable goal. It supports language revitalisation efforts that are going on at a national and regional level, but most importantly it is the start of a cultural and social revolution for our tamariki.”

“The power of the language is truly transformative.”

“It was Sir James Henare who said ‘ko te reo te mauri o te mana Maori’ – the language is the essence of Maori identity. To embed Te Reo Maori as an everyday language in the community of Wairoa will have multiple benefits for this town. Not only will the reo be heard everywhere, our children will have a stronger sense of self, pride in their culture, and a firm understanding of who they are and where they fit in this world,” said Dr Sharples, “this will benefit Wairoa, but also the hapu and iwi of this area.”

“Last year Te Paepae Motuhake launched a report on the revival of Te Reo Maori, which identified that the battle to keep our reo alive starts in our homes and within our whanau. The Wairoa 2040 Te Reo Maori Strategy fits with the recommendations of their report, which highlighted the need for regional reo hubs who work towards the goal of revitalising the language from within our homes.”
Dr Sharples took part in the launch of the strategy today at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Kahungunu o Te Wairoa, which simultaneously celebrated its second anniversary as a Kura Tika Tangata, and international Human Rights Day.

“I congratulate the kura for this wonderful milestone which marks their second year as advocates and role models for human rights. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People outlines that tangata whenua have a right to revitalise, use, develop and transmit our languages – and today I celebrate with you, the contribution that you are making to our iwi, and our nation.”

ENDS


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