28 Nov 2012

Kaumatua criticises decision not to fund te reo courses

9:04 am on 28 November 2012

A Ngati Ruanui kaumatua is critical of the Crown's decision not to fund two Maori language courses at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT).

The local polytech says it's not getting any money for the level one and two courses because the Tertiary Education Commission is instead funding the national institute, Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

The Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki claims to be the only tertiary education provider to teach the Taranaki dialect.

Huirangi Waikerepuru says the ability of Taranaki Maori to learn and revive their own dialect is in jeopardy.

He says tangata whenua have already been subjected to the confiscation of their whenua, their language and culture.

Mr Waikerepuru says the funding decision will have a serious impact on the dialect restoration plan that was put in place by organisations such as Te Reo o Taranaki Trust.

He says without te reo, the growth and education of tamariki or the next generation is going to be jeopardised.

On Monday, Radio New Zealand asked the Tertiary Education Commission to explain its funding decision but it had so far failed to provide answers.