14 Mar 2012

Death of kuia makes fight for Kohanga Reo stronger

7:53 pm on 14 March 2012

Some Maori say the death of a kuia who helped establish Kohanga Reo for pre-schoolers in Eastern Bay of Plenty, motivates them to fight for the future of the movement.

Mere Moses, believed to be 80-years-old, had made the trip to Wellington to be part of the Kohanga Reo hearings, but collapsed outside the tribunal office on Monday and later died.

The Waitangi Tribunal is hearing submissions this week by key Maori representatives, some of whom accuse the Crown of mainstreaming Kohanga Reo, and want them managed independently of the Ministry of Education.

Phil Marshall, who is of Ngai Tuhoe descent, says Maori are taking a lot of strength from the loss of Mere Moses, saying her death will not be in vain and the fight for Kohanga is gaining strength.

Waitangi Tribunal hearings continued on Wednesday with several key Maori representatives.