Topic: Te Reo Māori

Future of the Māori language discussed at consultation hui

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

The Māori Language Advisory Group's third consultation hui has been held at Auckland's Te Puea Marae. The proposed Māori Language Bill was the topic of conversation and it has drawn together those for and those against it. 

Ruakere Hond says, “The majority of concerns raised related to previous laws and bills, so we're focussed on taking those concerns on board, to remedy the wrongs of the past.

Paraone Gloyne believes, “The issue for me is to not let the government be responsible for the survival of our language, that's our job, whether in the cities or in the country, both worlds have something to contribute for the sake of the language.”

A key feature of the Bill establishes a governance entity Te Mātāwai, which will be made up of iwi, Māori language stakeholders and the crown, who will be responsible among other things, for The Māori Language Commission and The Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency.

Bernie O'Donnell of Radio Waatea says, “We've come here with a concern about te Mātāwai in regards to taking the language back to iwi, because we have a lot of Māori living in the cities who have no connection to their roots.”                  

The purpose of the consultation process is to bring together those who agree and those who oppose, with the hope at the end for a positive outcome.

According to Paraone Gloyne, “If this group were to embark on this mission thinking everyone will agree, they will fail miserably, that's us Māori, that's human, however I see a bright outcome if we are all on the same page, for the sake of the language.”

At the end of June, the information from each consultation meeting will be collected, and then the proposal will be finalised and reported to the Minister of Māori Development who will then decide on the next step.