Government delay in Māori Language week an embarrassment

Government MPs inability to make a decision today about an inquiry into Te Reo in schools is an embarrassment in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori  (Māori Language Week) the Green Party said today.

The Green Party and New Zealand First are jointly calling for a Select Committee inquiry into the capacity to deliver and support Te Reo Māori within New Zealand schools.

“This week, of all weeks, the Education and Science Select Committee should have supported the initiative to strengthen Te Reo Māori in schools,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“The Minister of Māori Affairs and Minister of Education need to be taking the lead on strengthening Te Reo Māori in the education system. Instead of strengthening Te Reo, they are missing in action, this week of all weeks.

“Last week the Education and Science Select Committee did agree that decisions would be made on inquiries today but today the decision was delayed yet again.

“The proportion of Māori people who speak Te Reo has dropped in the last two censuses, from 25.2 per cent in 2001 to 21.3 per cent in 2013.

“The theme this year for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is 'Whāngaihia te reo Māori ki ngā mātua': helping parents to pass Te Reo on to their children.

“The education sector has an important role to play in ensuring that parents are supported in helping to pass along Te Reo.

“The Te Reo revitalisation movement has fought a magnificent battle for Te Reo Rangatira, and it is time that politicians showed some real leadership to ensure all students have access to Te Reo,” Ms Delahunty said.