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Maori Language Commissioner Moves On

For immediate release

23 June 1999

Maori Language Commissioner Moves On To New Challenges

The Maori Affairs Minister, Hon Tau Henare, today accepted Professor Timoti Karetu's resignation as the Maori Language Commissioner.

"It is with some sadness that I accept Professor Karetu's resignation. He has been a champion of the cause for many years, but I must respect his decision to move on to new challenges and devote more of his time to the Kohanga Reo National Trust," he said.

"However, I hope, for the sake of the language, that he will remain involved in some way in the work of Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori."

Professor Karetu said that he would continue to play a key role in the rebirth of the Maori language through his job at the Kohanga Trust.

"It is extremely important that language competence at the Kohanga Reo level is raised. If we can get this right, then it will provide a solid base for the future of our language, and for competence at all levels," said Professor Karetu.

Mr Henare said he is firmly committed to the revitalisation of the Maori language and saw Te Taura Whiri as a key agency in this area.

"I am obviously extremely disappointed that Professor Karetu is stepping down from his current role as Commissioner. Having said that Te Taura Whiri has, for the first time, secured additional resources in the latest budget round for its activities and we can continue to develop key policies and initiatives to proactively promote te reo growth and development," said Mr Henare.

ENDS

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