Improving Ma¯ori lan­guage

The Northland Age - - Local Life / Opinion - Hon Kelvin Davis MP

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."

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