Topic: Elections

Labour Party looks to revitalise Māori Language

By Numia Ponika-Rangi
  • Auckland

Avondale markets were busy with shoppers as the Labour Party released its Māori Language Strategy where they will commit to making it a "working language" where it's used in everyday situations rather than simply a "ceremonial function".

According to Nanaia Mahuta, “That's why we're committed to incorporating this strategy wherever possible, in schools, on television, radio, right through to on-stage promoting kapa haka.”

The strategy aims to make Māori language a working language in the public and enhancing ERO reviews to make the requirements concerning Māori culture more rigorous.

Nanaia says, “We think, the benefits that will come from this will be for everyone outside of Parliament as a means for our language to survive”.

“Let it not be the responsibility of only one political party.  It should be opened to everyone to promote different aspects of the strategy itself.”

However, there was no suggestion of making Māori language compulsory in all schools. Nanaia believes, “That's what we want to happen however, if we look at our schools, there aren't enough teachers available to teach Māori but one of Labour's objectives is increase the numbers of Māori language teachers for mainstream schools.”

Labour has also committed to continue funding Māori Television.