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MANA launches te reo Māori policy

tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea
MANA launches te reo Māori policy

Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki
Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti

24 July 2014

“MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes.

“MANA’s policy is based on a love for the language and a commitment to ensuring its survival, in direct contrast to the Māori Party’s bill which will actually dismantle the Māori Language Act of 1987.”

“MANA’s policy is based on a firm belief that the Act should be strengthened, not dismantled.”

“Our policy is designed to protect the language and to develop it, to ensure it flourishes and becomes a positive and uplifting force in our society.”

STEP ONE in that process will be to keep and to strengthen the Māori Language Act.”

STEP TWO will be to affirm the role of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, The Māori Language Commission, as the lead agency for te reo Māori with authority to oversee the Māori Language Strategy”, said Ms Sykes. “It’s what the original WAI 11 claimants wanted, it’s what the Tribunal recommended in its report on the WAI 262 claim, and it’s what whānau and language experts have been telling us for years.”

• Te Taura Whiri should be given formal authority to work with public bodies, to develop Māori language plans and outcomes.
• Te Taura Whiri should also be empowered to work with whānau, hapū, marae, iwi, and Māori organisations in the revival and development of te reo Māori in their communities.
• Te Taura Whiri should also be resourced and supported to carry out its role.

“There is a nationwide call for real leadership and action on te reo Māori, and that can only happen when Taura Whiri’s role is strengthened rather than undermined”, said Ms Sykes.

Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti, said “STEP THREE will be to build on the report of the Waitangi Tribunal into Kohanga Reo, which found thatsuccessive governments had breached the Treaty of Waitangi by failing to fund and support Kohanga Reo’s Māori language strategy”.

“The Tribunal also called on government to appoint an independent adviser to oversee an urgent programme to: overhaul policy, increase participation, improve quality, increase funding and provide the support necessary for upgrade and maintenance of Kohanga facilities”.

“Kohanga Reo are the basis from which te reo Māori can flourish, and MANA supports the recommendations made by the Tribunal” said Mr Nikora.

STEP FOUR must be to build on the positive results achieved over the past 30 years in Kura Kaupapa, in Māori homes and communities, and in the wider society” said Mr Nikora.

• Increasing the number of Kura Kaupapa to cater for whānau who choose reo Maori as the language of choice for their children’s education;
• Making reo Māori classes a core requirement for whānau in Māori medium education;
• Making Māori language part of the core curriculum in all mainstream schools, along with English, Maths and Science, to help build a strong base for the reo;
• Investing in more language revival initiatives in homes and communities;
• Making Māori competency standards a core requirement of all broadcasting licences – when broadcasters pronounce Māori correctly, the flow on to the rest of the community is positive;
• Developing the teacher training programmes and learning resources to ensure full delivery of these initiatives

“MANA’s position is that te reo Māori is a taonga, and that we must do all we can to protect it, to promote it, to grow it, and to help it flourish across all sectors in Aotearoa”, said Mr Nikora.

ENDS

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