Time to further protect Te Reo Māori – lifting investment and putting in place a national strategy
“Living Te Reo Māori 365 days a year may be ambitious but it will lift the rich fabric of New Zealand’s cultural life” Raewyn Harrison, Chair of the New Zealand Māori Council’s National Taskforce on Education.
As we come to the end of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori the New Zealand Māori Council has renewed its call for greater investment and support across the education system in particular but also workplaces, communities and more when it comes to the revitilisation and normalisation of Te Reo Māori. Raewyn Harrison, Chair of the New Zealand Māori Council’s National Taskforce on Education has said that its time to lift our commitment/aspirations from a single week to a year long focus that is built around a national strategy for Te Reo Māori.
“Its always amazing to see the majority of people really getting in behind the Reo but I am concerned that we need to match that enthusiasm and the targets set by Government with more investment. In all reality we have a huge demand for those wanting to learn Te Reo Māori but some providers are overwhelmed and that also tells me that we need to more coordination and focus. We can only achieve this with a dedicated national strategy.” Harrison said
“Despite revitalisation efforts the language is considered to be endangered and unlikely to survive as a language for ordinary conversation unless it is more often spoken to children in homes and within communities where Māori is spoken most of the time. Creating an overarching strategy for those committed to speaking te reo, should constitute an important facet of a Māori Language strategy and therefore the guarantee of its very survival” Harrison said
Harrison also reflected on the intergenerational depletion of the language from the 1940’s right through to the mid-eighties and said all New Zealanders should consider Te Reo Maori as a taonga / treasure.