March 21, 2017
Taura Whiri role widens as Te Matawai emerges
The chief executive of Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Maori says the emergence of Te Matawai is a question of rearranging the furniture rather than building a new house to promote Maori language.
Ngahiwi Apanui and Te Taura Whiri chair Dr Wayne Ngata were quizzed this month by MPs on the Maori affairs committee on how the Maori Language Commission is handling the transfer of $11 million of its budget to the new iwi-led body.
Mr Apanui says the transition of the Ma Te Reo grants and other community funding will take time as Te Matawai builds up its infrastructure.
Because Te Matawai's task is to provide a Maori community response to the government's language strategy, Te Taura Whiri's role has changed.
"All of a sudden we've gone from focusing primarily on Maori communities to promoting the language to wider New Zealand, to encouraging non-Maori to becoming part of the revitalisation effort, and that kind of mixes up with our vision statement that the language resounds to all corners of the country so that everyone in the country can speak Maori," Mr Apanui says.
He's heartened by Auckland University research showing 40 percent of New Zealanders now believe te reo Maori should be a core subject in schools.
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