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Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill

The Māori Affairs Committee has presented its report on the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill to the House.

A complete Te Reo Māori translation of the English text has been inserted into the bill. This is only the second time a bill has been translated this way.

It also contains an historic first for the Māori language in legislation. Both the Māori and English texts would be of equal authority. The Te Reo Māori text would prevail in the event of a conflict in meaning between the two language versions.

The Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill reinforces the status of the Māori language in New Zealand. The bill establishes an independent entity, Te Mātāwai, to provide leadership on behalf of iwi and Māori regarding the health of the Māori language.

The key changes recommended to the bill are:

• creating two Māori Language Strategies: one the responsibility of the Crown,

• making Te Mātāwai primarily responsible for leading, supporting, and promoting

• adjusting the membership of Te Mātāwai to ensure representation for urban Māori

• maintaining Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) focusing on national-level issues, and the other the responsibility of iwi and Māori, focusing on matters at iwi and community level the health and well-being of the Māori language at the iwi, hapū, whānau, and community levels, but also with a role in influencing government and providing for Te Puni Kōkiri to facilitate the selection process and Te Reo Whakapuaki Irirangi (the Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency) (Te Māngai Pāho) as Crown entities The bill now awaits its second reading in the House.


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