Topic: Te Reo Māori

Te Mātāwai returns to grassroots to develop language strategy

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Te Mātāwai, the organisation given the task of revitalising the Māori language, held its first consultation hui today in Napier as the board looks to the communities around the country to get involved in their strategic direction to grow the Māori language.

"We have kōhanga reo here, teachers, family members, people from whare takiura, people from all different groups here in Ngāti Kahungunu, those that are actively involved in the kaupapa," says Te Mātāwai member for Te Tairāwhiti, Jeremy MacLeod.

It's the first of nine hui around the country that is designed to get the ideas flowing on how the Māori language can be strengthened.

"This is the first time I've been back with my iwi since being elected as a member of Te Mātāwai, the main focus of the meeting today is to hear what our iwi and community has to say and that will help to guide us in our strategy implementation."

Te Mātāwai was set up in 2016 and is made up of 13 members from different iwi and are charged with leading reo revitalisation.

"It's the same story with all iwi everywhere that the language is dying which can be seen in every part of Kahungunu but soon hopefully we will see that change."

It's a change that will hopefully be initiated by funding of $10 million, $9 million of which is for community language programme funding and $1 million used for research.