Improving Ma¯ori language
For me the Easter break meant a rare — but welcome — few days off, attending my Auntie Isey Cross’ 100th birthday celebrations at
O¯ pua and putting the longline out at 90 Mile Beach. On Anzac Day I was up at 4am to make the dawn service in Kaikohe, and back to Kaitaia for the civil service at 11am. It was fantastic to see so many come out to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for their country and their wha¯ nau.
During this time I also launched two major initiatives for Ma¯ori education, which show how our government is delivering on our plan to integrate te reo Ma¯ori across the education system.
The first is Te Ahu o te Reo Ma¯ori, which is designed to improve all levels of Ma¯ori language ability across the education workforce, and is available to all teaching and school support staff. Staff can participate in a kura reo-style learning programme, some of which will be delivered through wa¯nanga and online learning support.
It’s important that Ma¯ori students are able to hear and speak and see their language being spoken on a daily basis by their teachers, and by other non-teaching staff, because the Ma¯ori language is a taonga.
This year Te Ahu o te Reo Ma¯ori is being offered in the Waikato, TaranakiWhanganui, Ka¯piti-Horowhenua and Te Waipounamu, because in these regions the Ma¯ori population is expected to increase by at least 20 per cent by 2023. Implementation in other areas will be informed by an evaluation at the end of this year.
I launched the second initiative, Te Kawa Matakura, at NorthTec’s Te Puna o te Ma¯tauranga Marae. This is a three-year extension programme that will grow young Ma¯ori leaders through ma¯tauranga (Ma¯ori knowledge) and te reo Ma¯ori. Te Tai Tokerau will be the first region to run this kaupapa, and it will be delivered here next year.
This is about extending ma¯tauranga Ma¯ori beyond what we normally know, and creating experts beyond what is taught at any school.
Along with Te Ahu o te Reo Ma¯ori, this is going to help us secure the future of te reo Ma¯ori. This is part of nation-building as well. Te reo and ma¯tauranga Ma¯ori are an important part of who we are as New Zealanders — and both these initiatives support that kaupapa.
Meanwhile the Beehive is even busier than usual at the moment as we get ready for the world’s first Wellbeing Budget. This budget will show how this government is putting people at the centre of our decisionmaking. It’s a pretty simple idea, really.
I look forward to being able to share some of the work being done in this space with you soon.
"It’s important that Ma¯ ori students are able to hear and speak and see their language being spoken on a daily basis by their teachers, and by other non-teaching staff, because the Ma¯ ori language is a taonga."