Welcome to part 1 of our special broadcast, a partnership between Native Affairs and Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, Massey University. It’s election year, and Native Affairs gets stuck into political parties over the future of the Māori language, Te Reo Anamata.
We discuss the current status of the language, how it can be revitalised and whether te reo Maori should be compulsory in primary schools. Representatives from the Greens, the Māori Party, National, Labour and New Zealand First rated the state of the language on a scale from 1 to 10. Most gave low scores of five and under with only the Greens giving it a seven.
But Māori Party Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell gave the language a three dismissing the Greens optimism saying, “I think we’ve got to be realistic and face it front on because if we drift around and believe everything’s sweet we aren’t going to address the real issue which is the loss of our language. It is happening because we have the statistics to prove it, we’ve got to face it and then deal with it.”