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Bill to revitalise te reo Maori through partnership - Maori Party

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill, tabled back in Parliament today, introduces a new way of the Crown and Māori working together to revive te reo Māori.

"Our reo is a taonga and we all need to work together to ensure it survives and flourishes", says Mr Flavell.

The Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill was introduced by the previous Māori Affairs Minister Hon Sir Dr Pita Sharples with the intent of giving iwi and Māori a stronger leadership role in the goal to revive te reo Māori as a living language.

Mr Flavell says while the bill remains true to his predecessor’s intent, "it also clarifies the roles of the Crown and Māori with respect to the protection and promotion of te reo".

The establishment of Te Mātāwai - a new independent statutory organisation that will lead the Māori and iwi language strategy - remains central to the Bill. It recognises Māori as kaitiaki (guardians) of the language.

Changes to the original bill were made following recommendations by the Ministerial Advisory Group on how the roles of the Crown and Māori could be clarified in their report Te Whare o Te Reo Mauriora.

"I am delighted to see that those changes are reflected in the bill reported back today, and I thank the Ministerial Advisory Group and the Māori Affairs Committee for their thorough consideration of the bill," he says.

The changes included keeping Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) and Te Māngai Pāho (the Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency) as independent Crown entities rather than bringing them under Te Mātāwai.

"The bill also provides for Te Mātāwai and the Crown to each develop complementary language strategies to support the revival of the Māori language.

"One of the most important functions of this bill is that it affirms the status of te reo Māori as an official language of our country and as a taonga of te iwi Māori.

"I am committed to working with all people and organisations who are committed to the survival of te reo Māori. We all have an important part to play," Mr Flavell says.

For more information on the Bill, go to www.tpk.govt.nz

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