Strong start for Māori Language Strategy submissions

Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta is heartened by the level of public response to the Crown’s draft Māori language strategy, just one month after its launch.

The goal to have one million New Zealanders speaking basic te reo Māori by 2040 has captured the nation’s interest.

“We’ve had over 300 individual responses already, most of which came in the very first week. Te reo Māori is clearly something New Zealanders really care about.

“That certainly doesn’t mean the responses are all in agreement. We’re getting a diverse range of opinions, from a diverse range of people. It’s wonderful,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

Minister Mahuta says all constructive feedback is welcome so the final strategy is robust and reflects the views of people who care about the long term place of te reo Māori in New Zealand.

Comments range from enthusiastic support – ‘The concept of a quarter of our country [having] basic te reo skills excites me’ - to doubt, ‘It seems too unrealistic and unachievable’.

People have suggested the goal of valuing Māori as part of national identity by 2040, should be fast-tracked to 2035. Others say, ‘Language is not a defining measure of national identity’.

“Overall there is support for the strategy. Wider themes are also emerging to do with the role of teachers, compulsory reo Māori in schools and the place of non-Māori New Zealanders in the future of the language.

“If you haven’t given feedback yet there’s still time to take a look at our ideas and tell us what you think. Help to secure a place for our language in our future,” said Nanaia Mahuta .

Media contact: Chris Harrington (021) 941 865

Media notes

  • The draft Maihi Karauna has been developed by Te Puni Kōkiri with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Te Māngai Pāho, the Māori Television Service, the State Services Commission, Ministry of Education, Department of Internal Affairs and Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
  • An implementation plan will identify key initiatives that will contribute to the priorities and outcomes of the Maihi Karauna, and how these initiatives will be resourced, delivered, monitored and reported on.
  • Maihi Karauna is the first government strategy to be developed under Te Ture mō te Reo Māori 2016 (the Māori language Act 2016).
  • The draft strategy, which complements Te Mātāwai’s Maihi Māori, lays out the Crown’s responsibilities to revitalise te reo Māori and sets clear goals to be achieved by 2040.
  • Consultation closes on 30 September 2018. Analysis of the submissions will inform the final strategy which will go to Cabinet, with an implementation plan, in November.
  • To download the Maihi Karauna and make a submission go to tpk.nz/maihikarauna