Topic: Te Reo Māori

Greens new policy reveals a vision for te reo to be compulsory in all schools by 2030

By Ani-Oriwia Adds
  • Wellington

The Green Party has revealed their vision for all children to learn te reo Māori at school by 2030. The Party have been working with reo experts and communities on how to achieve the goal.

Green Party Leader James Shaw says “te reo Maori was the first language spoken in Aotearoa and is a fundamental part of our identity as New Zealanders. Now we made a commitment as the Green party back in February of this year for teaching Te Reo to all children in all of our schools around the country and now today we're announcing that we have a plan to achieve that within a generation.”

The Green Party has revealed their vision for all children to learn te reo Māori at school by 2030. The Party have been working with reo experts and communities on how to achieve the goal.

Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw says, “Te reo Māori was the first language spoken in Aotearoa and is a fundamental part of our identity as New Zealanders. Now we made a commitment as the Green party back in February of this year for teaching te reo to all children in all of our schools around the country and now today we're announcing that we have a plan to achieve that within a generation.”

The policy will include small changes to the curriculum so that language will become a core subject for all students from years 1 – 10.

Increase both the number and capability of te reo Māori teachers over the next 15 years.

Re-establish language advisor positions at the Ministry of Education to support teachers with their professional development and learning delivery and support Kohanga reo, Kura Kaupapa, Wharekura and Whare Wānanga movements

Shaw says “I don’t believe that we're ever going to have a truly multicultural country founded on a bi-cultural foundation until we understand each other's culture. Culture is contained, is language and so I’m truly personally committed to this and I’m incredibly excited about this possibility ad now that we've actually got a plan to achieve it within a generation.”

Green Party member Marama Davidson says “We are still in decline when it comes to those who can speak te reo. So I think it's only 3.7% of people in Aotearoa can have a conversation in te reo. We know that over 77% of children are not enrolled in any subject at schools at the moment and we know that half of all schools in Aotearoa have absolutely no student learning te reo or taking a te reo subject.

Labours Peeni Henare believes compulsory reo is a good idea.

He says, “I see the Green Party’s Policy and there are still a few questions around whether or not they will be achieved but I support what they are trying to do”

The Greens also want to double the number of scholarships for people who want to teach the language. It also plans to have a senior te reo Māori teacher in every primary school.