Review of the Māori language sector released 13 April 2011

It seems that Te Paepae Motuhake have completed their work around Aotearoa and have just released their findings in a report called Te Reo Mauriora. The following information summarises the objectives, aims and recommendations of the report. However, a full account of the report can be downloaded here: Te Reo Mauriora.

The report of the Māori language sector and Māori language strategy, was released today (13 April) at Te Puni Kōkiri head office in Wellington. The report presents the findings of an independent panel appointed by the Minister of Māori Affairs. The panel was asked to look at how to promote te reo Māori in future and achieve value for money in government spending to promote te reo Māori.

The panel’s review was informed by the Wai262 pre-released Waitangi Tribunal chapter on the state of te reo Māori. The panel also travelled the country to hear from experts and examine Government spending.

Despite significant progress in the last 25 years, the panel found that as a minority language Māori is still in the critical stage. The report focussed on how to ensure the sustainability of te reo Māori; that Māori have sovereignty over te reo Māori and revitalisation initiatives; and the Government’s obligation to ensure te reo is spoken in homes but also to assist in raising its status publicly. The review poses the objective that by 2050, 80% of Māori homes are Māori language homes.

In summary, the report recommends:

  • That a Minister for the Māori language be established with powers to determine all matters pertaining to the Māori language.
  • That the principal recommendation for revitalisation is re-establishing te reo in homes. The role of the public sector is to support Māori to achieve this objective.
  • That priority funding and focus be given to initiatives geared to meet the objective of 80% of Māori homes as Māori language homes by 2050.
  • That a “Rūnanga ā-Reo” be established in nine regions to plan programmes, expenditure and evaluation.
  • Current initiatives should collaborate towards the principal goal at a national level and through Rūnanga a-Reo.
  • Continue and expand other initiatives such as embracing te reo Māori in the private sector.
  • That the future implementation of the revitalisation strategy be led by iwi. The panel notes that this was an emphatic call heard throughout the region.
  • That a board known as “Te Mātāwai” for te reo Māori be established, comprising language experts representing the seven dialectial regions.
  • Establish iwi Wānanga to strengthen dialects, teaching, broadcasting, publishing skills and Māori tribal history and identity.

Source (Human Rights Commission, Te Waka Reo, National Language Polciy, 2011).

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