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Rotorua first off the rank for te reo Māori revitalisation

Hon Te Ururoa Flavell
Te Minita Whanaketanga Māori
Minister for Māori Development

11 August 2017

Rotorua first off the rank for te reo Māori revitalisation

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has praised Rotorua for leading the way in becoming the first bilingual city in New Zealand.

Mr Flavell was in the city today to unveil a plaque to mark the occasion, celebrate the bilingual initiatives throughout the city and launch the #kōrero pin to make it easier for those interested in te reo Māori to converse with each other.

“This is a great occasion for our te reo Māori journey. I am proud of Rotorua, and I can’t wait to see what a difference this makes to our community,” says Mr Flavell.

He says the Government will work with Rotorua leaders to learn from their experiences and help pave the way for more bilingual towns and cities.

“We want to find out what works in different communities and develop tools and resources to support that best practice.

“Like many good ideas, this comes from the grassroots. Te Tatau o Te Arawa with Te Puni Kōkiri are leading this initiative with the support of the Rotorua Lakes Council. As a result of their passion and commitment, the Rotorua of the future will have te reo Māori more visible, there will be more people who can speak te reo Māori, and there will be more places for them to speak te reo Māori. This is about normalising te reo Māori throughout the community.

“Bilingual towns and cities are going to become more and more common, and that makes this ‘first’ all the more special. Acknowledgements must be made to Ōtaki and Wairoa who both signalled a desire to take up the notion of bilingual communities,” says Mr Flavell.


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