September 12, 2019
Generation now ready to own te reo
The chair of Māori language advocacy board Te Mātāwai says this year's Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori confirms efforts to preserve and promote the language are moving into a new phase.
Waihoroi Shortland says the week is a time to reflect on the struggle to this point, and compare it with the wider community acceptance of te reo Māori.
That creates challenges and opportunities for whānau Māori.
"There is a generation coming that will own the reo. There's no question about anyone born Māori owning this reo, beginning with probably this generation coming through, the children born now and the parents of children of now whose attitude to Māori is saying 'yes, I can have this as part of my family or my children's future in Aotearoa,'" Mr Shortland says.
One of the challenges is to repair the damage done to the kohanga reo movement by persistent under-funding compared to other early childhood education options.
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