25 Aug 2017

Auckland Transport told to implement Te Reo Māori

9:44 pm on 25 August 2017

Auckland Transport is being challenged to use Te Reo Māori signage across its transport network.

Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport Photo: RNZ

Independent Māori Statutory board chairman David Taipari said Auckland Transport needed to prioritise the use of Te Reo and become bi-lingual.

Mr Taipari said he raised the issue at an Auckland Council finance and performance committee meeting last week.

For the last seven years, he said the Independent Māori Statutory Board had been calling for Te Reo Māori signage to be installed by Auckland Transport.

"My concern at the meeting was the length of time it was taking and the reasons behind that so I questioned that at the committee meeting."

Mr Taipari said the use of Te Reo Māori would bring both an economic and cultural boost to the Auckland region.

"We just think it's appropriate that Auckland Council and councils across the country recognise Te Reo Māori in its capacity as an official language of New Zealand."

Mr Taipari was looking forward to reading the agency's implementation strategies for Te Reo Māori use which he said would be ready in September.

Te Moana Maiki, from Te Arawa, grew up surrounded by her language and culture in Rotorua.

"There's Māori signage everywhere you can tell that Rotorua is definitely the hub for Māori."

She currently buses everyday from the North Shore to Auckland University where she is on an internship.

Ms Maiki said Auckland Transport should move towards embracing Māori language.

"Having things bilingual at the moment to start with and getting people to get use to it would be awesome and kind of that way normalises Te Reo Māori."

In a statement Auckland Transport said it was looking to develop and assess the costs of implementing Te Reo Māori signage.

It said at this stage no decision had been made.

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