Minister pleased with response to te reo Māori strategy

By Regan Paranihi

Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta is heartened by the level of public response to the Crown's draft Māori language strategy, just one month after its launch.

The goal is to have one million New Zealanders speaking basic te reo Māori by 2014. 

“Te reo Māori is clearly something New Zealanders really care about. That certainly doesn't mean the responses are all in agreement. We're getting a diverse range of opinions, from a diverse range of people. It's wonderful."

Mahuta welcomes constructive feedback to enhance the final strategy and to reflect on the long-term plan of te reo Māori in New Zealand. 

The government has received feedback from people who are enthusiastic about the vision of a basic reo Māori country by 2040, while others think the theory is unrealistic and unachievable.

People have suggested the goal of valuing Māori as part of national identity by 2040, should be fast-tracked to 2035. Others say, 'Language is not a defining measure of national identity'.

Mahuta says, "Overall there is support for the strategy. Wider themes are also emerging to do with the role of teachers, compulsory reo Māori in schools and the place of non-Māori New Zealanders in the future of the language.

"If you haven't given feedback yet there's still time to take a look at our ideas and tell us what you think. Help to secure a place for our language in our future," said Mahuta.