16 Apr 2012

Revitalising Te Reo still needs Govt help - Sharples

6:43 am on 16 April 2012

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says it will be a long time before Maori can take over the Government's financial responsibility to revitalise Te Reo.

Maori Language Commission chairperson Erima Henare told the Maori Affairs Select Committee last month that the commission's role will change.

He says Dr Sharples has outlined a new direction for the commission which aims to put more resources into communities, so they take responsibility for Te Reo rather than the State.

Pita Sharples says Government ties to groups such as the Maori Language Commission, Maori Television and kohanga are still necessary at present.

Ultimately, he wants the responsibility given back to tangata whenua, but he says hapu are not yet ready to take over the financial responsibilities of reviving the language.

Dr Sharples says money can not be seen as a gift, and Maori must sincerely want to keep Te Reo alive.