Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori is saluting the Waikato-Tainui tribal executive Te Arataura for their bold plan to save te reo Māori among their descendants.
“It is so exciting, refreshing and heartening to hear groups step up and take serious action to significantly increase the number of fluent Māori speakers in their community.
“And I especially take my hat off to Waikato-Tainui who want 80% of all their descendants fluent in the language by 2050”, said Māori Language Commission chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui.
“Their vision is an ambitious one, especially when their current membership is more than 60,000 but big dreams breed passion and passion breeds action, so I have every confidence they’ll achieve it.
“Every day in our office we are reminded that te reo Māori is in a perilous state, so when we hear of plans like this, we get really excited.
“Saving te reo is going to require the support of the multitudes and we are looking forward to working on that with iwi, leaders from all walks, the public and private sectors."
Since 2001, the commission has distributed more than $2.38 million of funding to whānau, hapū and iwi in Hamilton, Te Kuiti, Tokoroa and Raglan to run language classes and promote the language at events.
About 33 groups from the Waikato have received Ngā Tohu Reo Māori language awards from the commission over the years.