Framework for reo Māori teaching in mainstream schools launched

By James Perry

Equity and excellence, barrier-free access to Māori language, culture and identity for all students is a step closer with today’s launch of Poutama Reo, the improvement journey for te reo Māori in English-medium schools. It will also benefit whānau, hapū and Iwi.

"Poutama Reo places mana whenua at the forefront," Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. 

"Iwi in Aotearoa have their own strategies to support te reo Māori revitalisation, and this document, asks leaders and boards to acknowledge the presence of iwi, and actively work to support their aspirations for te reo Māori. Hapū and iwi are critical to the success of te reo Māori within their rohe and across education."

Speaking to teaomā, Davis says Poutama Reo will help English-medium schools get a gauge of where te reo Māori is in their communities and how to increase the skillset amongst their students and staff.

"Ki ahau nei, he mea pai mō ngā taitamariki katoa o Aotearoa kia tupu ake ai ki roto i te reo Māori, ahakoa nō hea rātou, ahakoa Pākehā mai, Hainamana mai, Māori mai, kia tipu ake ki roto i te reo Māori i te mea ko te reo Māori tētahi o ngā tino tuakiritanga o Aotearoa."
(I believe it is great for all children, Māori and non-Māori in Aotearoa to learn te reo Māori and understand te ao Māori as it is one of the most unique things in the identity of Aotearoa.)

A new tool to better education for all tamariki.

Framework trialled

Davis says once Poutama Reo is embedded in schools, the benefits for Aotearoa will be seen in future generations.

"He mea pai kia rongo ai, kia kite ai i te reo Māori e kōrerotia ana ki roto i ngā kura, e puta mai ana i ngā māngai o ngā tai tamariki."
(It will be great to hear and see te reo Māori being spoken across school playgrounds by our children.)

Poutama Reo, the Te Reo Māori Quality Framework supports the government to implement and realise the goals outlined in Maihi Karauna, the Crown’s overall language revitalisation strategy. The tool was developed by Te Tari Arotake Mātauranga, the Education Review Office, in collaboration with the education sector and external experts.

It has evolved from research into the provision of te reo Māori in English medium schools. The new framework has been trialled in pilot schools across Aotearoa to test its integrity, workability, and responsiveness.

Lever for change

"Poutama Reo helps to ensure all learners experience success on their journey to learn and use te reo Māori. It enables access to quality learning opportunities while creating a shared experience of language and culture. One that allows all learners to connect more deeply to te reo me ona tikanga Māori and will facilitate deeper understanding, empathy, shared experience, equity and excellence in schools, in homes and beyond," Associate Education Minister, Jan Tinetti said.

"Education sector agencies play a critical role in supporting te reo Māori acquisition and revitalisation in educational pathways. To name a few, the Education Review Office, Ministry of Education, the Teaching Council, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and the New Zealand School Trustees Association are here alongside schools, boards, whānau, hapū and iwi and learners while the Taura Whiri and other important guests guide and support," Davis says.

"Poutama Reo is a significant lever for change. It is designed to provide positive outcomes for current and future learners of te reo Māori. It is our hope it will also create equity and barrier-free access for all learners of te reo Māori,"  ERO chief executive Nicholas Pole said.