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Umere tells Minister: ‘Taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy

Umere tells Minister: ‘Taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy

A Māori language group says that the Minister of Māori Affairs needs to ‘taihoa’ on any changes to Māori language agencies.

The group fears the Minister is setting up a ‘Te Pātaka Ōhanga’ type model for Taura Whiri and Mangai Paho, and that this is unwise.

‘It would be judicious for Dr Sharples to resolve issues with Te Kōhanga Reo before messing with any other agencies,’ says Umere spokesperson Maraea Hunia.

‘While Pita and Hekia are telling the Kōhanga Reo national body to clean up their act, Pita appears to be setting up the similar model for Te Taura Whiri, and Te Māngai Pāho. It can only end in tears.’

Umere organised a hikoi in February to raise awareness about the decline in the numbers of Māori speakers. The group says the Minister must acknowledge opposition to the new MLS, and must remember that it was iwi who supported the establishment of Te Taura Whiri from the start.

‘Let’s take a breather and wait for the hui this week at Tūrangawaewae so that:
1. Issues with the Kōhanga reo can be discussed and resolved

2. There is time to consider the consequences of any changes planned for other Māori language agencies.


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