February 23, 2014
New body must do homework
Writer and actor Waihoroi Shortland says the choice of representatives will be critical to the success of the proposed new Maori language strategy.
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples wants to give iwi more say in overseeing Maori language revitalisation, including appointing the boards of the Maori Language Commission and the Maori broadcast funding agency.
Mr Shortland, who spoke at the Auckland consultation hui on the strategy, says the proposed Te Matawai iwi electoral college needs to have its feet on the ground.
"I always have a fearof these things, when you create a thing so high powered, people you put there suddenly believe they are beyond the reach of ordinary people, they live in a stratosphere you can no longer communicate to, but if you start by instilling in it that if we put you in this position, your work begins at home. Now home is a very wide concept. The fact that (Te Matawai) has been geared to some defined geographical areas, that’s where your work is. Your work is not in Wellington," he says.
Submissions on the strategy must be in to Te Puni Kokiri by Thursday.
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