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Umere says 'taihoa' on Māori Language Strategy

Umere says 'taihoa' on Māori Language Strategy

A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week.

"The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they are overwhelmingly opposed to the Strategy in its current form" says Maraea Hunia, spokesperson for Umere.


According to Umere, party politics should be left aside for te reo. "The MLS needs to be revisited away from the pressures of the election before it is enshrined in law."

Umere notes that there is much talk about 'iwi' supporting the MLS, but Minister Pita Sharples doesn't clarify who he means when he refers to 'iwi', such as 'Tainui'. "Does this refer to the majority of the people of Tainui? Or to the Tainui corporate entity?"

Umere recommends that the MLS should be taken off the shelf for a few months, and the kaupapa re-visited after the elections, so that a strategic and far-reaching plan for the revival of our nation's heritage language can be developed. "As it is the MLS merely moves the onus of revitalisation to another corner. There are significant gaps that need to be addressed."

"Our call is to 'taihoa' on the MLS Bill."


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