March 09, 2016
Taura Whiri losing operational focus
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says leaving Te Taura Whiri and and Te Mangai Paho as crown entities is in the best interests of Maori language revival.
The Te reo Maori Bill reported back to parliament this week dropped a plan to put the Maori Language Commission and Maori Broadcast Funding Agency under a new iwi-appointed body, Te Matawai.
Mr Flavell says there was widespread concern that such an option would let the crown off its responsibility to protect the language.
He says the Bill brings iwi and crown together so both sides have a responsibility to do their bit.
Te Mangai Paho will continue in its present role, but Te Taura Whiri will change.
"Community money that they secured by way of community-based language initiatives, Ma Te Reo funding and others will be passed directly over to Matawai. Te Taura Whiri may well be contracted on behalf of iwi to look after those funds because they already have systems in place to distribute the money but that's a decision for Te Matawai to be made and other than that the focus will very much to be for Te Taura Whiri to provide policy advice," he says.
Mr Flavell says while at the moment there is no new money for Maori language programmes, in future years he will push for an increase in money for community initiatives as well as change in the way mainstream government departments spend on te reo.
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