25 Aug 2009

Maori Language Commission fears dialects will be lost

6:37 am on 25 August 2009

The Maori Language Commission is calling on Maori communities to build closer ties with mainstream schools to ensure their dialects are not lost.

The commission reported feedback on Monday from hui around the country as part of efforts to develop a new Maori language strategy.

Chief executive Huhana Rokx says 80% of Maori students go to mainstream schools, and a lack of cohesion between iwi and their schools could lead to a more generic language being taught across New Zealand.

She told Waatea News the loss of tribal dialects would be a tragedy.