26 May 2016

Māori language gets $34.6m cash injection

3:31 pm on 26 May 2016

The revival of the Māori language has been given a cash injection of $34.6 million.

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The new operating fund is for the next four years to support the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori through key language initiatives.

It's hoped the new money will give all New Zealanders greater access to the language to ensure its survival.

"The funding will enable whānau, hapū and iwi to play a greater leadership role in the design and planning of initiatives that makes a real difference to the revitalisation of the Māori language," said Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.

The Budget allocated $12m to support the establishment and operations of Te Mātāwai, the new Crown entity to be set up under Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori 2016.

Another $12m is for Te Reo Māori Whānau and Community planning to help to help whānau, hapū and iwi to develop Māori language strategies within their communities.

Māori Television will receive $10.6m to reach a wider audience via high-definition broadcasting on multiple platforms.

Māori Television chief executive Paora Maxwell said the extra money supports the government's Māori Language Strategy by helping Māori Television to attract and grow its viewing audiences, particularly youth.

"Upgrading our transmission to HD will provide viewers with clearer and crisper pictures, and the new funding will improve our delivery of content to audiences where they are and when they want it."

"Connection with rangatahi (youth) is a particular focus for us, given that half of all Māori are under 23 years of age," said Mr Maxwell.

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