Today Willie Jackson was formally welcomed to Te Puni Kokiri, the organisation tasked with assisting him in his new portfolio as Māori Development Minister.
Delivering an impassioned speech, he highlighted the need for more support being committed to language learners who aren’t fluent “We’ve got to get that strategy right. I want a strategy for everyone, not just our ones who e mohio ana ki te kōrero Māori (speak fluently). We’ve got to bring them on,” he said
Te Reo Māori pioneer Te Waihoroi Shortland was reflective: “We heard his commitment to te reo and heard him also say - it's not just about supporting those with Te Reo. The great thing about his speech was his aim to help those with no reo and no real connection to the language,” he said
Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Dave Samuels highlights the tasks ahead: “Economic strategy with regards to Covid-19 - that's about lifting Māori business, lifting our housing portfolio across government to deliver for Māori and, of course, Te Puni Kokiri, has the responsibility to monitor all across those agencies”
Minister Nanaia Mahuta was acknowledged also as the outgoing Māori Development Minister. She was also praised for her new role as Foreign Affairs Minister.
Te Waihoroi Shortland said she was a true representation of a Māori person who has risen to this new portfolio.
“When the world looks to us they will see our uniqueness. A big honour for Māori ... we all rise with her as she embarks on her new international journey.”