Labour’s pol­icy on te reo M¯aori ‘short on de­tails’


Broad­caster Stacey Mor­ri­son says the Gov­ern­ment’s new pol­icy on push­ing te reo Ma¯ ori in schools needs se­ri­ous clarification.

The co-au­thor of Ma¯ ori at Home said any pol­icy would face a teacher sup­ply short­age due to a lack of flu­ent te reo speak­ers.

‘‘To say teach­ers will have the op­por­tu­nity to learn te reo Ma¯ ori is a lit­tle oblique. What does this look like?’’ Mor­ri­son said.

Labour has promised ev­ery child, from early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion through to in­ter­me­di­ate school, would have te reo Ma¯ ori in­te­grated into their ed­u­ca­tion by 2025.

Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis con­firmed this week that the $14 mil­lion pol­icy will be im­ple­mented as part of the Gov­ern­ment’s ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy.

‘‘We want this to be non­threat­en­ing for teach­ers,’’ he said.

‘‘Peo­ple will be in dif­fer­ent places along the con­tin­uum in terms of te reo Ma¯ ori and we want them to help them.’’

When asked for specifics, Davis said the Gov­ern­ment hoped both lan­guages would be in­te­grated into a sin­gle les­son.

‘‘Say the teach­ers are do­ing a so­cial stud­ies unit on the bush. We want teach­ers to be able to use Ma¯ori words for the names of an­i­mals, in­sects and trees. ‘‘

Hen­der­son Massey Lo­cal Board mem­ber Will Flavell is cur­rently re­search­ing the te reo Ma¯ori learn­ing experiences of non-Maori se­condary school stu­dents.

‘‘This is a bold move and a great step to­wards for­mal­is­ing or rather, nat­u­ral­is­ing, te reo Ma¯ ori,’’ the Labour Party mem­ber said.

How­ever, he said he be­lieved there were two sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges to im­ple­ment­ing the pol­icy.

‘‘To say teach­ers will have the op­por­tu­nity to learn te reo Ma¯ ori is a lit­tle oblique. What does this look like?’’

Stacey Mor­ri­son

‘‘First, com­mu­nity at­ti­tudes are re­ally im­por­tant,’’ Flavell said.

‘‘Younger kids don’t have the back­lash against te reo Ma¯ ori that there can be with older peo­ple. The sec­ond is­sue is that the gov­ern­ment has to com­mit to re­sourc­ing this prop­erly.’’

Flavell said it was im­por­tant to in­vest in te reo Ma¯ ori lan­guage from an early age.

‘‘The sur­vival of the Ma¯ori lan­guage is fun­da­men­tal to our iden­tity as New Zealan­ders.’’


Broad­caster Stacey Mor­ri­son says she would like the Gov­ern­ment to go fur­ther with its te reo Ma¯ori ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy.

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