Te Maihi Karauna strategy to be implemented this year

By Tema Hemi

New Zealand's ongoing commitment to strengthening te reo Māori has been further reinforced with the launch of the Crown's draft Māori language strategy, the Maihi Karauna.  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the Te Matatini ki te Ao festival to announce the latest on the implementation of the strategy. 

PM and Minister of Culture and Heritage, Ardern experienced the glamour of the biggest spectacle of Māori culture in the world for the first time today. 

MPs got into the spirit of Te Matatini after spending nearly two years preparing a nationa-level strategy which will complement the local level Māori language strategy already completed by Te Mātāwai. 

However, the strategy cannot achieve its goals if the current shortage of Māori language teachers persists.

Ardern says, "I was incredibly pleased to be a part of a strategy to promote and foster the greater use of te reo Māori.  We've got a real aspirational goal- we want, by 2040, a million New Zealanders to be able to kōrero with confidence in te reo Māori.  We've got a lot of work to get there and we've already, in the last budget, focused on what we can do to make sure that we've got the supply, the resource and whats required to make sure that we can teach te reo Māori and of course that's an important first step- and at every level.  So we absolutely recognise there's more to do."

Chairman of Te Mātāwai, Wahoroi Shortland says, "It's been a long time coming for the Maihi Karauna strategy to become a reality and it enforces the accountability of the current government to the language through all its departments."