Topics: Politics, Te Reo Māori

Iwi leaders' insight on revitalisation of Māori language

By Heeni Brown
  • Auckland

Iwi leaders gave an insight on how Māori Television can move forward to continue the revitalisation of the Māori language.

Ngāti Porou leader Herewini Parata says, "These are my words to Māori Television moving forward, make our language resound, ensure the language of our ancestors is heard in our homes, in our communities and us as Māori and Māori speakers need to come to Māori Television nevermind the other broadcasters and give all that we have to give, so that our language is heard everywhere worldwide."

This morning Māori Television held a traditional ceremony to formally open the new East Tamaki premises with the new direction being embraced by Buddha, Baptist, Pai Mārire, Ringatu and Anglican denominations.

In attendance was Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare who says, "We need to lift our language, and I give kudos to Māori Television and their programmes. While there are lollies being thrown by political parties to entice our Māori people, the good thing about this project is that it's fed only by the Māori language. Let our language be the core so that our language can thrive forever." 

The dawn ceremony was attended by more than 250 people including Members of Parliament, iwi, local community representatives, schools and industry partners, followed by an official opening of the new premises.

Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell says, "This is the challenge for us, when it comes to our language it's time for us to say those of you who want to speak english need to go out on the road. Go with the smokers! I will never forget how good this challenge is."

Te Mātāwai co-chair Te Waihoroi Shortland says, "The language is the essence of this house, this house is a Māori language house. Nothing more or nothing less. If we can get to that frame of thinking then we can truly say, our language is here to stay."