Te Taura Whiri board gets first wahine chairperson

By Leo Horgan

She's the first woman to be appointed as the chairperson to the Māori Language Commission board.  Professor Rawinia Higgins says there's a lot of work to do.

Higgins is a tertiary education leader, an expert in language revitalisation and has contributed significantly to the development of te reo Māori.

She is also one of the architects of Te Whare o te Reo Mauriora, the policy framework that guides the partnership between the Crown and Māori for revitalisation.

Chief Executive Ngahiwi Apanui says, "This is wonderful and long overdue. It recognises the important role Māori women have played in the effort to retain te reo Māori. After 31 years it is wonderful to finally have a woman chair."

"The Minister for Māori Development also announced the reappointment of Ngāi Tahu Māori language leader Charisma Rangipunga as Deputy Chair of the Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori Board of Commissioners.

Both of these women contributed to the current Māori language legislation alongside current board member Charlie Tepana. Collectively their knowledge of the legislation will provide strong leadership for the organisation."