The MÄori Language (Te Reo MÄori) Bill, tabled back in Parliament today, introduces a new way of the Crown and MÄori working together to revive te reo MÄori.
"Our reo is a taonga and we all need to work together to ensure it survives and flourishes", says Mr Flavell.
The MÄori Language (Te Reo MÄori) Bill was introduced by the previous MÄori Affairs Minister Hon Sir Dr Pita Sharples with the intent of giving iwi and MÄori a stronger leadership role in the goal to revive te reo MÄori 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 MÄori with respect to the protection and promotion of te reo".
The establishment of Te MÄtÄwai - a new independent statutory organisation that will lead the MÄori and iwi language strategy - remains central to the Bill. It recognises MÄori 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 MÄori 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 MÄori Affairs Committee for their thorough consideration of the bill," he says.
The changes included keeping Te Taura Whiri i te Reo MÄori (the MÄori Language Commission) and Te MÄngai PÄho (the MÄori Broadcasting Funding Agency) as independent Crown entities rather than bringing them under Te MÄtÄwai.
"The bill also provides for Te MÄtÄwai and the Crown to each develop complementary language strategies to support the revival of the MÄori language.
"One of the most important functions of this bill is that it affirms the status of te reo MÄori as an official language of our country and as a taonga of te iwi MÄori.
"I am committed to working with all people and organisations who are committed to the survival of te reo MÄori. 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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