17 Jul 2014

Te Reo 'now political issue'

7:48 am on 17 July 2014

New Zealand has entered an extraordinary time with more and more politicians campaigning about Te Reo Rangatira, a Maori development academic says.

Auckland University of Technology lecturer Robert Pouwhare said the Maori Party, Labour and the Mana Party have all shown support for the language.

Te Reo is expected to be a hot political issue including whether Te Reo should be compulsory in schools.

Mr Pouwhare said New Zealanders live in an extraordinary time, because 40 years ago the country would never have spoken about making the language compulsory in kura.

He recalled when he and others lobbied government with the Maori Language petition in 1972 the idea of the language being compulsory in schools was never considered.