Flavell sends Te Reo Māori Bill to Cabinet

By Heta Gardiner

The Te Mātāwai Bill has been stalled and carefully looked at for a long time by the Minister of Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, but the latest is, for those who are a fan of the Bill, you will have a good weekend because the minister told us today he is done reviewing it and has settled on a Bill he is comfortable with, and has sent it to Cabinet.

It's been five years in the making, but finally it's reached a conclusion and is now well on its way to becoming law.

The idea of the Bill first appeared in 2010 when Te Paepae Motuhake was established.

An Independent Advisory Group was created to revive te reo Māori. They produced their final report at the end of April in 2011.

Pita Sharples reviewed their recommendations and in April 2014 he started working on Te Mātāwai.

In July that same year, it reached its first reading in Parliament.

This Bill has been analysed and adjusted vigorously by numerous language groups. But the Minister told Te Kāea, he's now ready to push forward. 

Flavell says, “I have already given a copy over to Cabinet, and told them this is what I'm proposing.”

The Bill was introduced to Parliament on Dr Pita Sharples' last day in the House. But the new minister put things on hold, while he assembled an advisory group, to further scrutinise the Bill.

Flavell says, “I am putting a strong Bill together, not for this year, not for the next couple of years, but for many years to come.”

But the drafting is now complete, and the minister is confident he will get the support of Cabinet.

Flavell says, “I've already spoken with a few of them and it seems they are all for it.”

He also says a conclusion is near.  “It's expected to come back by the end of the year,” says Flavell.  

Once the Bill has gone through Cabinet, it will then go to the Māori Affairs Select Committee.