A public consultation calling for New Zealanders to share their views on the government’s Māori language strategy has kicked off today.
The strategy, Maihi Karauna, is one part of Te Ture mō te Reo Māori 2016, enacted to revise the country’s effort towards Māori language revitalisation, says Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
“The Maihi Karauna is one part of the strategy with an opportunity to harness the wave of support for te reo Māori across Aotearoa to determine a way to maintain and grow that momentum,” says the minister.
“When I think of my young children growing up it is increasingly important to ensure that more kiwi’s connect and reflect our common identity through valuing the indigenous language and culture of our country.”
The strategy lays out the Crown’s responsibilities to revitalise te reo Māori and sets clear goals to achieve by 2040.
According to Stats NZ, the proportion of Māori people able to hold an everyday conversation in te reo has decreased by 3.7 percent between 1996 and 2013.
“I encourage everyone to have their say on the future of our language and how the Crown can help to protect, promote and secure its future,” says Mahuta.
Interest in te reo Māori is high and rapidly advancing technology is creating new opportunities for growth according to the minister.
“The Crown’s challenge is to respond to this climate with smart solutions that will not only promote quality language, but encourage and support the places where that language can flourish every day and long into the future.“
The public consultation runs from today until September 30. The strategy can be downloaded and submissions can be made at www.tpk.nz/maihikarauna.