26 Nov 2014

Possible Te Matawai members identified

6:57 pm on 26 November 2014

An Iwi Chairs Forum member has identified people he thinks should be on a new Maori language entity, Te Matawai.

The Maori Affairs select committee has been hearing submissions on the Maori Language (Te Reo Maori) Bill, which would establish the iwi-driven independent body.

It would include delegates who represented the seven regions' tribal dialects.

Maori language group Umere told the select committee at Parliament today it was worried those representatives would only come from a small number of corporate iwi entities.

But forum member Willie Te Aho said there were some people who have been behind Te Matawai.

He said when he remembered people who attended hui earlier in the year with Dr Pita Sharples, the focus was actually on those who were outstanding in the language.

Mr Te Aho said they included Ngati Kahungunu Te Reo director Jeremy Tatere McLeod, who is leading language revitalisation plans in Hawke's Bay; Charlie Tepana, of Ngati Raukawa in Tokoroa, who runs wananga reo or total immersion Maori language courses; and Dr Rawinia Higgins, a native fluent speaker at Victoria University.

Mr Te Aho said they had been involved in delegating the responsibility from the Crown to iwi to establish Te Matawai.

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