July 20, 2014
Reo week could see Sharples swansong
It’s Maori language week, and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples hopes it’s the week parliament will hear the first reading of his bill shaking up the government agencies that promote and protect te reo Maori.
His plan to replace the Maori electoral college chosen by language claimants with one chosen jointly by the crown and iwi has upset language advocates.
But Dr Sharples is welcoming the support he has got from Maori Party stalwarts and some iwi leaders.
"If we don’t have iwi behind it we will lose our dialects, we will just become a book language or a schoolroom language, and that's why it's really important to reengage iwi in the front line, and that’s why I’m doing this," he says.
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