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Time for Iwi to take control of Te Reo Maori revitalisation

From Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi

Time for Iwi to take control of Te Reo Maori revitalisation

Ngapuhi gives its total support to the Minister of Maori Affairs for his proposed law change that will put Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori (the Maori Language Commission) and Te Mangai Paoho (the Maori broadcasting agency) in a new largely Iwi-run entity, Te Matawai.

Said Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman of Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi: “Iwi are more than ready, willing and able to step up to this important challenge.

“Over the past decades Te Taura Whiri and Te Mangai Paoho have kept the home-fires burning, but the reality is they have not improved Te Reo at all, and we are seeing a declining level of native speakers.

“It is time for Iwi to take over.”

“For Treasury and State Services Commission officials to try to stop Dr Sharples’ Te Matawai paper going to Cabinet because “they fear iwi will misspend Crown money” - as was reported in the media today - is simply racist nonsense.

“Apparently they have pointed to the Kohanga Reo and Whanau Ora as examples of misspent Crown funding. To this we have to agree with Dr Sharples – this smacks of stereotyping of Maori at best, and racism at worst.

“In the case of Te Kohanga Maori Trust, Iwi leaders have been vocal in calling for transparency and accountability.

“Iwi have a proven and growing track record as effective governors. Just look at Ngai Tahu, which is now the largest commercial entity in the South Island; Tainui which is a major player in the Waikato economy, as is Ngati Whatua o Orakei in Auckland.

“For Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi ourselves, our independent auditors have given our group an unqualified audit report for the thirteenth consecutive year.

“Te Reo Maori is a precious taonga that is at risk, and cannot be left to the same organisations who fail to deliver the improved results we need as a people and a nation if our first language is to survive and thrive.

“We say to the Treasury and State Services Commission. Get over yourself with your out-of-date views on Iwi Maori. We are the new force in the land, and it is time to give us control of that which is most precious to us: our reo.”

Ends

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