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Increased investment in Māori language

Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Minister of Māori Affairs

Associate Minister of Education

16 May 2013

Increased investment in Māori language

Budget 2013 provides for new and increased funding for Māori language initiatives, Māori Affairs Minister and Associate of Education Minister Dr Pita Sharples says.

This lays the foundation for the Māori Language Strategy, which will be released later this year.

“Vote Māori Affairs provides $8 million over four years for a new Māori Language Research and Development Fund, which will be administered by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to strengthen the evidence base for effective Māori language policies and programmes,” Dr Sharples says.

Budget 2013 will also increase funding for Mā Te Reo to $2.5 million a year within Vote baselines.

This is a contestable fund administered by Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo to support community projects that increase language use and proficiency.

“Māori immersion education is of critical importance to revitalising Māori language, and that demands high-quality, culturally competent teachers.”

Some 265 existing Teach NZ scholarships will be allocated to trainees for Māori-medium education and secondary te reo Māori. This package of scholarships, worth $4.7 million over four years, helps to strengthen Māori-immersion education and supports the Māori language strategy, building the number and quality of Maori language speakers in the teaching workforce.

Budget 2013 will also focus on improving the diversity of the teaching workforce, by way of 30 new scholarships to attract highly talented Māori and Pasifika candidates into teacher education from 2014.

“A further $12 million of operating funding over four years will fund a programme to support and retain new teachers in Māori immersion education.

“About 70 per cent of new teachers in Māori immersion classrooms leave this specialist area in their first three years of teaching. Retaining qualified and skilled teachers is critical to the success of Māori immersion schooling, and hence the Māori language strategy,” Dr Sharples says.

A new mentoring programme to help our priority learners achieve NCEA Level 2 will be allocated $5.9 million operating funding over the next four years – an increase of $800,000 over existing programmes.

“A one-off increase of $250,000 operating spending will also be made to the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund, on this the 70th anniversary of the VC being awarded to Lieutenant Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu, to recognise the difference the scholarships are making to promote education excellence among Māori students.”

Separate to Budget 2013, the Government is also considering, as part of the Māori Language Strategy, transferring the Ministry of Education’s $2.3 million Community Based Language Initiatives fund to Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo.

Furthermore, the Government is considering an additional $15.2 million in funding to Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo to fund Māori communities’ engagement in learning Te Reo Māori in homes and on marae which is in line with the principal recommendation of Te Reo Mauriora.

“Supporting Māori language regeneration is paramount in our efforts to promote Māori development, and I am pleased that there are a range of measures across both Vote Māori Affairs and Vote Education which are targeted towards Māori language,” Dr Sharples says.

“These initiatives show our commitment to Māori language and development, and are a prelude to the Māori language strategy which I am looking forward to releasing later this year,” he says.


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