Deadline looms for Crown Māori Language Strategy

By Talisa Kupenga

The deadline is looming for government agencies as the Minister for Maori development looks to finalise the Crown's Maori Language Strategy.

The opposition says it will have serious concerns if the deadline at the end of the month is not met.

The Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta expects the Crown's draft strategy by the end of the month.  

"I’ve told them to hurry up, so we can progress quickly," says Mahuta.

National Spokesman for Māori Development, Nuk Korako says two years is plenty of time.

"If it goes beyond the month that the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta is saying then I would be really concerned that this is going to get lost actually- if they don't keep paddling that waka forward together," says Korako.

Last month the Māori Language Commission was questioned about Maihi Karauna delays by the Māori Affairs Select Committee.  At the time the strategy was with Te Puni Kōkiri, which was working alongside seven other groups.

Māori Language Commission Chief Executive Ngahiwi Apanui says, “some would say it is like herding cats.  We accept this is the way it is and we can't do anything about that but the strategy is nearly complete".

Mr Apanui says government agency CEOs will meet for the first time to discuss the strategy come Thursday, where an agreement will need to be reached before the end of the meeting so Te Puni Kokiri can provide the draft to the minister.