8 Apr 2014

Tauranga Council called on to support Te Reo campaign

9:32 am on 8 April 2014

The Maori Language Commission is encouraging Tauranga City Council to buy in to the idea of making Te Reo an everyday language of communication in the city.

The campaign is being led by local Maori broadcaster Pat Spellman, who aims to make the city bilingual.

The kaupapa has caught the attention of the commission, Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Maori, which plans to support the idea by providing learning material to the campaign.

Interim chief executive Pita Paraone said the vision is achievable but needs the backing of the council.

As an example, he says, the Tauranga authority could adopt a model used in Wales where dual language signage can be found.

Mr Paraone said if the council did support the campaign it would show a commitment to the survival of the language.

But Pat Spellman said from the outset organisers didn't want to seek financial support from the council, only moral support.