The chief executive of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Ngahiwi Apanui, welcomed the acknowledgement from the Crown today that its actions played a key role in the decline of the Māori language.
“While the Minister has acknowledged the role the Crown has played in the decline of te reo Māori, our role is to focus on the solutions,” said Mr Apanui.
“We believe that teachers and schools can play an important role in the revitalisation of te reo Māori.
“They can help restore te reo Māori to its rightful place and positively address the decline by teaching te reo Māori in schools as a core subject with the same value and importance as English.
“Currently the weight of revitalising te reo Māori rests with a hardy and committed group of iwi and community te reo Māori champions – the evidence shows us that they require support if they are to be ultimately successful.
“We can continue to hold community Māori language classes and wānanga, promote te reo at events, make more te reo TV programmes, apps and websites but those alone won’t increase the number of speakers required to revitalise the language.”
“We need to encourage and enable the use of te reo Māori everywhere, especially in schools, but we should also take a coordinated, targeted and consultative approach to ensure an outcome that is positive for te reo Māori and our country.”