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Te reo Māori trending at New Zealand Fashion Week

MEDIA STATEMENT

27 August 2014

Te reo Māori trending at New Zealand Fashion Week

Language and fashion express culture and identity so it’s fitting for the Māori Party to launch its te reo Māori policy at New Zealand’s premiere fashion event in Auckland.

“Te reo Māori has gone from being the only language of our people to near extinction. I like to think of te reo Māori as being back in vogue,” quips Rangi McLean, the Tāmaki Makaurau candidate for the Māori Party.

According to Census 2013, the number of Māori able to hold a conversation in te reo Māori has dropped to one in five from one in four in 2006. Rangi says previous Māori language plans clearly haven’t worked.

“The Māori Party is proud of the new Māori Language Strategy released earlier this year. We want to see our whānau, hapū and iwi rise to the challenge and lead the revival of our beautiful language,” says Mr McLean.

During its time in Government, the Māori Party quadrupled the funding for Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori, primarily to support community-based, home and marae language initiatives.

Going forward, McLean says the Māori Party will increase funding for Māori language teacher trainees, establish a Te Reo Māori Centre of Excellence and support the passing of the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill which will give effect to the Māori Language Strategy.

The Māori Party also wants to make te reo Māori compulsorily available in all early childhood centres, primary and secondary schools as well as support fees-free reo programmes for whānau and communities.

The South Auckland resident of more than 40 years is a fluent speaker of te reo and prides himself on encouraging others to learn te reo Māori, irrespective of their race, age or background.

“Through my involvement at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, I know there are around 500 Asian students who will graduate soon from te reo Māori programmes.

“I live in the largest and most culturally diverse neighborhood in the whole country. Languages are all around me, so making our indigenous language available to anyone who wants to learn is something I am proud to be involved with. The Māori Party has helped knit te reo Māori into the fabric of this country, exactly where it belongs.”

The Māori Language Strategy includes two headline indicators that will help assess the effectiveness of the plan; these are the number of whānau Māori and other New Zealanders who can speak te reo Māori and the attitudes of all New Zealanders towards the Māori language.

For more details on the Māori Party’s Te Reo Māori policy, go to http://maoriparty.org/our-policies

Authorised by Helen Leahy, 29 Beaumaris Crescent, Porirua

ENDS

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