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$15m Funding For Maori Language

The Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Tau Henare, today announced a one-off $15m increase in funding support for promotion of Maori language and culture.

"The Government has taken careful note of the Waitangi Tribunal's recent comments in relation to the vulnerable state of the Maori language. A great deal of effort is being made to revitalise the Maori language and some initiatives, such as Maori television, have not had time to bear fruit. Additional funding will further strengthen existing activities and allow the Government to consider new ways of promoting Maori language," said Mr Henare.

"As recommended by the Tribunal, the Government will also be reviewing the effectiveness of its current policies for promoting Maori language and culture. As part of this, we will be looking at ways to streamline present institutional arrangements, including the way in which Maori language products and services are purchased by the Government."

The new funding will be disbursed on the basis of recommendations of an interim advisory board set up under the auspices of Te Puni Kokiri. The chairs of Te Mangai Paho, the Maori broadcasting funding agency, Te Taura Whiri i te reo Maori, the Maori Language Commission, Te Awhiorangi Te Reo, Maori television trust, and the Chief Executive of TPK will be invited to sit on the board.

The board will make its recommendations to the Ministers of Maori Affairs and Communications by 31 March 2000, about how to use the additional $15m to promote and protect Maori language and culture in the most effective way.

The board may also consider recommendations aimed at boosting Maori participation in the information technology and telecommunications sectors.

ENDS

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