June 11, 2013
Reo group upbeat on goal
A Māori language advocacy group hopes greater official support will help turn around a decline in the number of Māori language speakers.
Awanui Black of Ngā Kaikokiri Mātauranga is defending a goal by Te Puni Kokiri to double the number of Māori speakers by 2028 as tough but achievable.
He says over the past decade the overall number of speakers has dropped, despite an increase in the number of young people fluent in te reo Māori.
"You know if we are not careful we may end up in the doom and gloom stakes again but there is enough critical mass and if there is good coordination and synergy and we make the most of it, then the future could be a brighter place in terms of te reo Māori," he says.
Mr Black says Ngā Kaikokiri Mātauranga is working with the Ministry of Education on strategies to increase Māori speaker numbers, including making kohanga and kura accessible to more Māori children, supporting home learning, and raising awareness among whānau that students from kura are going on to achieve academic success at secondary and university level.
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