A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it in schools, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.
Announcing Labour’s Te Reo Rangatira policy in Avondale today she said Labour wanted to both celebrate and safeguard the language and would do so providing opportunities to promote it as a living expression of indigenous identity.
“Te reo Māori is a taonga.
“As a country New Zealand is a leader in indigenous language learning settings such as Te Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Wharekura. Students graduating from these institutions have a higher proportion of success and positive research gains can be attributed to mainstream school settings.
“Teachers proficient in te reo Māori and who are able to teach across the school curriculum have Labour’s full support.
“We recognise that hapū and iwi are increasingly committed to their own strategies and plans for te reo Māori. Labour will work in partnership with those aspirations to advance a fully endorsed Māori Language Strategy.
“Labour wants to see te reo Māori flourish and grow and that will require leadership in the home, at a local and central government level.
“To achieve our aspiration that te reo Māori becomes a working language for all New Zealanders, we will continue to make improvements across the public sector that will raise the capability and accessibility of te reo Māori.
“As an official language Labour recognises te reo Māori is an important doorway to a greater appreciation for heritage languages and the aspirations of a more multicultural society.”