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New Māori Language Strategy confirmed

New Māori Language Strategy confirmed

Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples, has today released the governments new Māori language strategy, which includes an updated model for Te Mātāwai, a Māori governance entity which will be charged with leading and guiding the Crown’s strategy for te reo Māori.

Dr Sharples said “Te Mātāwai is a significant part of the Māori language strategy because it is an instrument which allows Māori/iwi to lead and direct Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Te Māngai Pāho and the Māori Television Service, and to provide a vehicle to represent their role as kaitiaki in relation to te reo Māori, it’s health and wellbeing.”

“Te Mātāwai will now be constituted by one representative from each of the 7 dialectal regions, 3 representatives chosen by Māori language organisations, and 2 representatives appointed by the Minister of Māori Affairs on behalf of the Crown.”

“This revised structure addresses feedback received through public consultation that asked for increased representation for Māori language experts and practitioners; and ensuring the on-going role and commitment of the Crown to supporting Te Reo Māori.”

Dr Sharples said Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and Te Māngai Pāho will remain and continue to deliver quality service and support for our Māori language being changed from Crown entities to statutory entities overseen by Te Mātāwai.

Te Mātāwai will also absorb the roles and functions of Te Putahi Paoho, which is the electoral college for the Māori Television Service. Māori Television remains as a statutory entity, and will continue under dual oversight by the Minister of Māori Affairs and the Minister of Finance, alongside Te Mātāwai.

“New legislation will be required to enact these changes. This legislation will be tabled in the house today, and is due for first reading before the end of July. This new legislation will formally recognise the status of the language as a taonga, and Iwi and Māori as kaitiaki of te reo Māori.”

“This strategy has always been about putting the control of the language back in to Māori/Iwi to which the taonga belongs. It is envisaged that iwi/Māori control will not only encourage a growth in distinct iwi/hapū language programmes, but that many of these will reflect the various hapū dialects which are taonga in themselves,” said Dr Sharples.


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