May 18, 2017
Disconnect from culture a challenge for reo
A member of Maori language body Te Matawai says reconnecting Maori to their birthright is at the heart of the language revival effort.
Te Matawai is consulting around the country as it develops an iwi and Maori perspective to feed into the government's te reo Maori strategies.
Last night night it was at Nga Whare Waatea Marae in Mangere to hear urban Maori views.
Pania Papa says a major challenge to learning the language is a psychological one, as decades of urbanisation and separation from their marae mean many people don't know how to tap into their cultural heritage.
"Really our birthright is we would have thought we would be connected to those things from birth and now we are dealing with generations of Maori particularly who don't have that connection to their culture, and that is probably the biggest challenge," she says.
Ms Papa says there is a growing appetite for Maori from younger people who see increasing their knowledge of te reo will make for a better life in Aotearoa.
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