Greens to release te reo policy at parliament

By Leo Horgan

Green Party leader James Shaw and MP Marama Davidson will launch the party’s te reo Māori policy at parliament tomorrow after meeting a hīkoi celebrating 45 years since the famous Māori language petition was presented.

The petition, which included over 30,000 signatures, was presented to parliament by activist group Ngā Tamatoa in 1972.

“Despite huge progress over recent decades and since 1972, the survival of te reo Māori is still not assured,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.

"We have a responsibility to ensure that our indigenous language not just survives but thrives in Aotearoa.

The Green Party stoked widespread debate in February when it announced its policy to have compulsory te reo Māori courses taught in schools.  Tomorrow’s announcement is expected to include further details on how the party plans to achieve the aim.

"Learning a second language has proven benefits for all children, as does Māori students being immersed in their own reo and tikanga,”” says Shaw, “working with educationalists, reo experts, parents and teachers, hapū and iwi, we have developed a plan to build teacher capacity and ensure all tamariki learn te reo Māori.”

The Green Party has struggled in recent polls after the loss of co-leader Meteria Turei over historic benefit fraud and  Labour's post-Jacinda Ardern reversal of fortunes.