5 Jul 2013

Western Australian supports kohanga reo

7:22 pm on 5 July 2013

A Ngati Porou kaumatua in Western Australia says the state government has given permission for a kohanga reo, or Maori language pre-school, to be set up in Mandurah.

Kaua Te Rangi Tuhura, or Reverend Kuzie as he is known to most people, says the decision for the Maori community to set up the kohanga means the next generation of Maori raised in Australia will be able to learn their language.

He says the state government is supportive of kohanga reo, especially because of the growing Maori community, which is determined to keep speaking the Maori language.

In a recent report Maori migration researcher Paul Hamer said the Maori population in southern Perth had risen by 85% in the last five years.

Mr Hamer says a significant number of those migrants are Maori language speakers, especially te reo teachers who were drawn to the lucrative mining industry.