Te Reo Rangatira – Te Reo Māori

Te reo Māori is the first language of Aotearoa. MANA is committed to its protection and development so it can flourish and again become the main language spoken in homes and communities throughout Aotearoa.

The report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the Te Reo Māori claim reaffirmed te reo Māori as a taonga that would be best protected and supported by the establishment of an independent Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.

The Tribunal’s subsequent WAI 262 report recommended that the role of Te Taura Whiri be strengthened and its powers expanded to bring New Zealand in line with successful language retention and development policies overseas. Much more needs to be done to engender a wider commitment from public bodies, including councils and schools, to the successful implementation of Te Rautaki Reo Māori, the Māori Language Strategy, and the goal of language revival.

Following the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust claim the Waitangi Tribunal has also made recommendations to ensure kōhanga reo are properly resourced and supported to play their critical role in the revival of te reo Māori. These recommendations need to be acted upon.

Much more also needs to be done to ensure that whānau and hāpori are well supported to play a central role in the revitalisation and development of te reo Māori.

MANA policy priorities are to:

Invest in language revival initiatives in homes and communities

  • Increase funding for te reo Māori programmes in homes and in the community, including establishing an independent national body for Te Ataarangi to enable the programme to be much more widely available.
  • Ensure all whānau of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori, and wharekura have access to free Māori language classes.
  • Make te reo Māori a core curriculum subject in all English-medium schools alongside English, Maths, and Science, and develop a plan to ensure there are sufficient teachers and learning resources to deliver this policy.
  • Introduce te reo Māori competency standards into broadcasting licences, supported by the provision of appropriate training to enable standards to be met.
  • Invest in research on how to support and build the contribution of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori, wharekura, and wānanga to language revival.

Reinvigorate kōhanga reo

  • Increase the number of kōhanga reo to improve accessibility, including in low decile areas.
  • Provide funding for up to 40 hours per week for each tamaiti/kotiro.
  • Develop a policy framework to support the kaupapa of kōhanga reo, including an appropriate regulatory and licensing regime, to increase participation, quality, and the health and safety of kōhanga facilities.
  • Increase funding for kōhanga reo to implement the policy framework, equitable to that in teacher-led early childhood education.

Strengthen the role of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

  • Confirm Te Taura Whiri as the lead agency for te reo Māori, with both Māori and Crown appointees to its board.
  • Strengthen the capacity of Te Taura Whiri to lead and oversee the Māori Language Strategy.
  • Empower Te Taura Whiri to work with public bodies, such as councils and schools, to develop Māori language plans and outcomes.
  • Enable whānau, hapū , marae, iwi, and Māori organisations to be a full partner with Te Taura Whiri in the revival and development of te reo Māori in their communities.
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