2 Jul 2013

Labour attacks Maori Affairs minister over language strategy

8:50 am on 2 July 2013

The Labour Party is criticising the Government for failing to launch a new Maori language strategy.

MP Shane Jones is questioning why the findings from a review of the state of the language have not been implemented.

He says a report, Te Reo Mauriora, was released more than two years ago and its recommendations have not yet been taken up.

Mr Jones blames the Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and says a language policy which is not championed by a dedicated and passionate minister causes drift.

However, speaking at the most recent Maori Affairs select committee hearing, Dr Sharples said he's close to taking a proposal to Cabinet.

He says the emphasis is on learning Maori in the home, and learning from a young age.

Dr Sharples says a new strategy will be about co-ordinating different Government efforts to promote the language.

He says there will also be a focus on supporting Te Panekiretanga and wananga to broaden the quality of Maori spoken by Maori speakers.