INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori

Published: Tue 17 Sep 2019 04:03 PM
The goal of one million Kiwis having basic conversations in te reo by 2040 is unrealistic if more is not done to get serious about reo acquisition says the Māori Party.
“While small steps have been taken to bolster efforts to increase the numbers of speakers, much more needs to be done. As is the case with most issues of importance to Māori, deafening silence from government resounds once again as Aotearoa bids farewell to its annual 7 day expression to promote the original culture of this land, through Te Wiki o te reo Māori”.
“There were many expressions of honouring our reo and it is simply beautiful to see Te Wiki o te reo Māori gain more and more popularity” says the President of the Māori Party, Che Wilson.
“But it’s time to move the dial and the Māori Party wants to see Ngā Wiki o te reo Māori supported by the government where te reo Māori is normalised for four weeks, one week each season throughout the year as a step to bigger kaupapa like the month long Mahuru Māori which is advocated by te reo Māori expert, Paraone Gloyne.”
“We only need to point to the efforts of the Māori Party speaking te reo in Parliament and forging the path for simultaneous translation to see how easily it can work in practice. Speaking te reo became so normalised in the House that even non-fluent speakers in Parliament will now open some of their speeches in te reo Māori.”
When the Māori Party championed the passage of the Te Reo Māori Bill through the House in 2016 to strengthen efforts towards reo revitalisation, it was clear there was support across the House to do more. “I encourage the current MPs to push for further efforts to halt the decline of te reo speakers. We can all play our part as a nation, including in the private and community sectors, to take up the challenge to fight for our reo.”
“We agree with former Labour Minister, Dover Samuels that the Crown should apologise for beating the language out of a generation of school kids. We are hopeful the Government will respond in a timely manner, and we are also awaiting the Crown’s response to actioning the Health and Fresh Water reports too” notes Wilson.
“Te reo Māori and Māori culture differentiate us from the rest of the world and the sooner the nation owns this, activities such as Ngā Wiki o te reo Māori and Mahuru Māori, the one million milestone can be achieved,” states Wilson.
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