Te Puni Kokiri

Language preference: Māori English

Language preference: Māori English

Hui ā-motu
Banquet Hall, Parliament Buildings
Wednesday, 1 September

On Wednesday 1 September 2010 the Hon Dr Pita Sharples, Minister of Māori Affairs hosted a national hui held at Parliament Buildings. The purpose of the hui was to launch the Review and to allow the members of the Independent Panel to engage with those Māori involved in Māori language revitalisation.

Below is a summary in English of the Minister of Māori Affairs speech that he delivered in te reo Māori at the hui. You can view a copy of his speech in te reo Māori [PDF, 84KB].

Review aims to benefit Māori language

Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples says the real purpose of a value-for-money review of government expenditure on Māori language promotion is to ensure the survival of Māori language.

In a speech this morning to a national language conference at the Beehive, delivered entirely in Māori, Dr Sharples said the most successful programmes for revitalising te reo Māori, such as Kōhanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori, had come from the people themselves.

However, he said, once they became accountable to Government, people complain that some of the strength of the programmes was lost.

In kaupapa Māori education, he said, staff were burdened down with regulatory requirements, there were not enough fluent and trained staff, and teacher training programmes saw kaupapa Māori schools as simply translating a mainstream curriculum into English.

Dr Sharples said these were the reasons why he initiated a review of the whole Māori language strategy and sector - to ensure that the money spent on language promotion was getting the best possible outcomes for the language.

He said he had told the review panel to leave no stone unturned in their search for the best ways to ensure the survival of Māori language. And he urged everyone involved in Māori language revitalisation to talk to the review panel on the issues they saw, and the solutions they proposed.

Dr Sharples told the hui the Cabinet supported the review, because Ministers are aware of the difficult decisions that must be made when kaupapa Māori are accountable for government funding. He said he looked forward to taking the review report back to Cabinet with recommendations from Māori people about how the future of te reo Māori can be secured.

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