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Maori Party must walk the talk on bilingual education

Su’a William
Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson

10 August 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Maori Party must walk the talk on bilingual education

While the Maori Party says it wants to promote the status of Pacific languages, it has not used its position as a government coalition partner to influence change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs Su’a William Sio.

“The Maori Party has an intimate understanding of the importance of indigenous language for our children’s future. They should use this understanding and their partnership with the National-led government to facilitate bilingual education,” Su’a William Sio said.

“It is simply not enough for the Maori Party to express 'hope' that there will new impetus in promoting and supporting Pacific language growth.

“The Minister of Education, a Government colleague of the Maori Party, has decided to eliminate funding for the production of Pacific bilingual resources as well as removing Pacific bilingual education from the Pacific Education Plan.

“While the Maori Party has expressed concern at the Minister’s actions they have not said what they will actually do. Many in the Pacific community feel as though expressing concern is too little too late in election year.

“Labour is committed to promoting Pacific bilingual education,” Su’a William Sio said. “New Zealand is the Pasifika capital of the world; we must lead the way not lag behind.”


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