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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Reo review timely says Key

The Prime Minister, John Key, says the strategic review of the government's Maori language strategy is timely.

Language advocates are meeting at parliament today with the expert panel put together by Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples to look at whether the $200 million spent on language programmes each year by the state sector is delivering value.

Mr Key says he expects suggestion to come out of it about ways the to encourage wider use of te reo.

“I think the use of te reo is becoming much more common, it’s far more widespread in all schools, not just kuras and the like. I think for the average kiwi, the number of words or phrases that they know and understand is definitely broadening out,” Mr Key says.


Greens' co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori would benefit in a number of ways if her party's call for a major new state house building programme was taken up.

She says it would provide jobs and trade skills for a large number of young Maori who are now on the dole queue, and it would improve the quality of Maori housing, with significant health benefits.

But she says the Government has rebuffed the call, putting thousands of construction industry jobs at risk.

“This government doesn't know how top join the dots, how to understand that there are needs across the community that affect those right at the very bottom which ten to be Maori and that we can resolve a great deal of it if we just use the government’s resources in the wisest way rather than in the way that benefits the richest,” Ms Turei says.

She says the government should heed the advice of its own Housing Shareholders Advisory Group, which recommended ways to boost the number of affordable homes.


It's the beginning of spring, and that's a special time for Maori.

Gardener and chef Rewi Spraggon says the flowering of the kowhai is a sign the kina will be getting fat.

It's also a busy time for the gardener.

“My grandmother had a good way of getting the tapapa. They used to put kumara and potatoes in straw and set them up, it would have been a month ago, and then the seedlings from the kumara start shooting out, you can break those tipu off and them start planting them in potting mix and eventually start putting them in the ground,” Mr Spraggon says.

Recent rains should provide good growing conditions as the soil warms up.


As Maori language experts gathered in Wellington today to discuss the government's Maori language strategy, Labour leader Phil Goff has emphasised encouragement over compulsion.

A survey last month found while there was strong support among Maori and Pacific island people for te reo Maori to be taught to all children in schools, across the whole population more than 60 percent of New Zealanders were still opposed to the idea.

Mr Goff says it's too early to talk about adding it to the compulsory syllabus.

“I probably wouldn’t make the decision at this stage to make it compulsory. I think you could turn some people off the language whereas I would say what more can we do to promote it and what more can we do to make sure that for a large section of New Zealanders who are Maori, that this is a language that they can continue to maintain and speak fluently,” Mr Goff says.

He's keen to see what recommendations the ministerial review team on Maori language strategy comes up with.


Ngai Tahu's chief executive says the new Christchurch Civic Centre is the kind of safe investment the iwi needs to have more of.

The $113 million Ian Athfield-designed Te Hononga centre, which opened on the weekend, was a joint venture between the iwi and the council.

Anake Goodall says the tribe's 50 percent stake will deliver a useful dividend from ratepayers each year which can underpin those iwi programmes which need continuity of funding.

“We need to get our reliable cash flow up a little bit more so that those horrible years like we had a year or so back don’t knock us around too much. On top of that you have those investments that are a higher risk profile and therefore a higher return profile and that’s Shotover Jet and investments in that sector so a bit of both but we could do with more of this type of asset on the balance sheet and I suspect that’s true for a lot of iwi authorities actually,” Mr Goodall says.

He says iwi like Ngai Tahu can't leave their money in the bank because they have to grow their capital base, but they must always be conscious of the inter-generational nature of the enterprise.


An 84-year-old author and educator from Ngati Awa says she only agreed to accept an award from arts funding body Te Waka Toi because it was a tohu Maori.

Te Onehou Phillis was given Te Tohu mo Ngoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi in recognition of her leadership and outstanding contribution to te reo Rangatira.

Her books include a biography in te reo Maori of her father Eruera Manuera, the last paramount chief of Ngati Awa.

She says she's not interests in government honours, but accepted this tohu out of respect for her relative, noted songwriter the late Ngoi Pewhairangi, and to uplift the mana of her hapu.

“I thought if I accept this, at least it will be something for Warahoe, my hapu, to be proud of. I wasn’t too worried about Ngati Awa, Ngati Awa has got some tohunga there. But I was very much so about my Warahoe hapu,” Mrs Phillis says.


Blogger Mattie said...

Kia ora mo tenei Adam. It's great to see some news on Te Reo Maori as there is not much published. I found John Key's comment interesting, as searching through his speeches he rarely gives any kind of greeting in Te Reo and doesn't seem to demonstrate that the number of phrases that he knows is "broadening out".

1:52 PM  

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