29 Mar 2012

Communities to be responsible for Te Reo

7:05 am on 29 March 2012

Changes in the way that the Maori Language Commission operates will aim to put more resources into New Zealand communities so they can take responsibility for Te Reo, rather than the state.

The commission, also known as Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Maori, says the changes follow last year's landmark Waitangi Tribunal report on Maori culture and identity, known as Wai 262.

Members of the Maori language promotion body went before the Maori Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday saying there would be a change in line with the vision of Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.

Commission chairperson Erima Henare says it received about $760,000 a year when it was started in 1987, equivalent to more than $10 million in today's dollars.

But the current budget is only half that, $5 million. Two thirds of this goes to communities to develop their proficiency in the language, and Mr Henare said the working on a budget of $3.2 million was a challenge.