Auckland University normalises te reo through new policy

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Auckland University has launched a new policy ensuring that competent staff are available to assess students in te reo Māori.

New Zealand's top university is making a stand to protect and encourage the use of te reo Māori. 

Dr. Tauwehe Tāmati says the University is committed to ensuring that competent staff are available to assess work submitted either fully or partially in te reo Māori.

Co-President of Auckland University's Ngā Tauira Māori, Mamaeroa Merito says, "There are going to be procedures put in place so that when we submit assignments, essays or examinations in Māori that there will be competent staff to deal with that."

The new policy aims to promote and encourage tikanga Māori and recognise te reo as a valued skill.  Tāmati says that it gives everyone the opportunity to speak Māori.

"For us it's about normalising Māori, bringing it to the forefront" says Merito.

Even the signage is changing and it's a cost that University is ready to front.

"All of their signage, including wharepaku, are going to be in Māori as well and we have a large number of international students and it's introducing the reo to them in a small subtle way," says Merito

The policy development team meet in November to identify relevant staff members and organise the implementation of the policy.