11 Feb 2014

Time tight for Te Reo consultation - Sharples

12:11 pm on 11 February 2014

The Government concedes the time for consultation hui on the future of the Maori language is not long enough.

A Maori language hikoi in Porirua.

A Maori language hikoi in Porirua. Photo: RNZ

Seven hui are being held nationwide to press for Te Reo to be put on an equal footing with English, the first in Porirua on Monday followed by one in Rotoura on Tuesday.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples said the timeframe for feedback is tight but safeguarding the future of Te Reo is a priority.

Because it is an urgent matter he wants to get all of the feedback back to Parliament before the general election, he said.

Dr Sharples said he consulted iwi leaders in Waitangi last week and feels there is a lot of support for the new strategy, which will focus on supporting language learning in the home and outline new governance for language organisations, such as the Maori broadcasting funding agency.

Students from two kura kaupapa Maori from Otaki and Porirua joined the Porirua hikoi on Monday.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rito year 13 student Manihera Ropata-Tehi has a vision for how New Zealand should treat Te Reo, saying it should be used more widely in all schools, kindergartens, universities, shops and stores, instead of the language being restricted to the Maori world.