3 Jul 2014

Maori language strategy approved

6:30 pm on 3 July 2014

The Government has approved a new Maori language strategy.

It will create a body called Te Matawai, which will oversee the Maori Language Commission and Te Mangai Paho.

Te Matawai will have seven people representing the different tribal dialects. As well, Maori language organisations will have two members and the Crown will have two seats.

A Government spokesperson said the change was aimed at putting the governance of Te Reo Maori back into the hands of iwi.

Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency chief executive John Bishara said the strategy was "okay" but hoped there would be changes to its structure at the the select committee stage.

The Mana Party said iwi leaders were not capable of managing such an important treasure as Te Reo, and that tribal councils did not make it a priority.

The ministers of Maori affairs and finance will oversee the body, and new legislation to create the new body and its functions is due to have its first reading in Parliament before the end of July.

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