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Engagement will help kohanga revitalise te reo - Maori Party

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Maori Party welcomes today’s announcement of a facilitator to engage government agencies and the Kohanga Reo National Trust in a joint work programme, to help resolve the Kohanga Reo claim against the Crown.

"The Crown has taken a step forward by adopting the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendation for an independent facilitator and announcing terms of reference," said Maori Party whip Te Ururoa Flavell.

"The Maori Party is especially pleased to see that the work programme includes considering a statutory framework for the kaupapa. This is something that we have advocated and discussed with Ministers as a part of our Maori Party policy, as we know it has worked well for kura kaupapa Maori," said Te Ururoa. "It was also a specific commitment negotiated in the Relationship Accord we signed with National in 2011."

Legislation that clearly sets out goals, roles and responsibilities may help avoid the kind of problems that the kohanga movement has experienced in its dealings with the Crown.

"We all have a joint interest in revitalising te reo Maori and raising Maori educational achievement and therefore it is crucial that all parties work together effectively," said Te Ururoa.

"We see this primarily as an issue of rangatiratanga. While the Crown has obligations to ensure that the Maori language and culture survive, the kaupapa of kohanga reo, the future of Maori language and the education of our mokopuna must be determined by tangata whenua."

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