Māori language experts welcome Te Reo legislation
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Māori language experts welcome Te Reo legislation

Back to one of the biggest issues
of the day. The Minister of Maori Development,
Te Ururoa Flavell, has received praise from language
experts around the country for his efforts
to get the bill passed. Praise came to him at the Ngati Kahungunu
Reo Symposium today. Let’s cross to Kereama Wright
who is on the ground there. Maori language experts
from all around the country have gathered here to discuss
the Ngati Kahungunu dialect. Leon Blake and Pania Papa
are among the attendees. Both of them have taken
an in depth look at the brand new Maori language
bill. A speech about the Maori language
delivered in excitement as the Maori language reform bill
is about to become law. The bill come ashore,
metaphorically speaking. It’s been a long time coming
for it to be passed by Parliament. I’d like to acknowledge
the Minister. Leon and Pania have had
their minds focused on the bill. They have carefully scrutinized Kiwa Hammond’s translation of the
bill over the last few months. Five of us were involved
in the process. There were three lawyers,
Leon and I. We carefully discussed what each
part of the law means so that it could
be translated correctly. It was a first to bring lawyers
and language experts together. These two say while
it has taken awhile to get the bill
into an acceptable state, there are a lot of positives. It’s not only the Government
who will be involved in revitalisation efforts. Iwi will be empowered to do so
as well. Statistics advise around 21%
of Maori speak the language. However, there is very large number
who aren’t engaged with the language. We’re here talking about
the future of the language. Who will take it there? Our mokopuna and their mokopuna. So if iwi don’t come on board now, it will be too late
for their mokopuna. It’s a big challenge for Te Matawai
to take on. The board will have a big task
to achieve. The members will be charged
with representing their iwi when it comes to reviving
the language. The things that pit iwi against iwi
such as competing for resources, all of that needs to be left
at the door so to speak. So will Leon and Pania be looking
to be a part of the board? I will if I am asked to. What’s my part?
I don’t know. We will go where we need to be. If that’s Te Matawai,
then yes we will. If it’s somewhere among the iwi,
then that’s where we will go. To explain further on the details
surrounding Te Matawai, a hui was convened here
yesterday to discuss what it means for the area. I have with me here now
Ngati Kahungunu’s Pou Arataki Reo Tatere McLeod. Tena koe. You went to the hui yesterday,
how did it go? It was good. Furthermore, there were
11 invitations the hui, seven attended. What was shared
and what was the outcome? The main outcome of the hui
was that Te Tai Rawhiti decided that there would need
to be at least six weeks to approach communities
and to find suitable candidates to be on Te Matawai, firstly. Secondly, to find people to be
involved in the discussion as to who should represent
Te Tai Rawhiti. Have any names been mentioned? Tapunga Nepe’s name has been
mentioned by the three Gisborne iwi, Rongowhakaata, Tamanuhiri
and Te-Aitanga-a-Mahaki. Other than him, that’s still up
in the air. What about yourself? If I am picked and my iwi want me to I would give it quite a lot
of thought. Te Matawai will have a lot to do – what do you think should be
their top priority? Te Matawai’s greatest task will
be to overcome the tribal divisions and to get everyone working together
with saving the language everywhere. Thank you for your time,
Tatere McLeod. Scotty, no doubt that’s the kind of
process iwi will be following around the country. The Minister says Te Matawai
will be established before the end of this year. Thank you Kereama Wright.


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