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Māori Party reveals policy to change NZ's name to Aotearoa, make Māori history core part of school curriculum

The Māori Party has this morning announced policy that would see New Zealand's name changed to Aotearoa by 2026.

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The party also announced today intention to change the names of cities and towns that were renamed during colonisation. Source: 1 NEWS

As well, all English place names, cities and towns would be replaced with their original ingoa Māori within the same period, te reo and Māori history would become a core part of the school curriculum, and state-funded broadcasters would have to have basic fluency in the language.

Candidate for Waiariki, Rawiri Waititi, said the policy for next month's election was "a bold move towards making Te Reo Māori a language for all of Aotearoa".

"It elevates Te Reo Māori to its rightful place, in a system that has long undervalued its significance."

The policy would guarantee that Te Reo Māori and Māori history will be part of core curriculum subjects up to year 10 at secondary schools and require all primary schools to incorporate Te Reo Māori into 25 per cent of their curriculum by 2026 and 50 per cent by 2030.

"It is unacceptable that only 20 per cent of our people can speak their own language and that only three per cent of the country can speak its official language. We need to be doing more at a systemic level to protect and promote the reo of Aotearoa," Waititi said.

"Our people, our country are still feeling the impacts of our language being beaten out of us in our education system and it was successful. We intend to start back there in a much more inclusive and less cruel way.

"Our education system must learn to respect and embrace te reo Māori as the indigenous language of this country. It all starts there."

The party also aimed to establish a Māori standards authority which would have legislative power to audit all public service departments against cultural competency standards.

Full policy points:

  • Change New Zealand’s name to Aotearoa by 2026.
  • Replace all Pākeha place names, cities and towns to their orignal Māori ingoa by 2026.
  • Invest $50 million into the establishment of a Māori standards authority; an independent statutory entity whose role will be to audit all public service departments against cultural competency standards, including the monitoring and auditing of language plans.
  • Establish Te Marama o te reo Māori.
  • Double Te Mātāwai funding ($28 million).
  • Remunerate primary and secondary schools and kaiako based on their competency of Te Reo Māori.
  • Ensure that Te Reo Māori and Māori history are core curriculum subjects up to year 10.
  • Invest $40 million for early childhood to secondary school kaiako to develop their reo.
  • Require all primary schools to incorpoate Te Reo Māori into 25 per cent of their curriculum by 2026 and 50 per cent by 2030.
  • Invest $20 million into the development of Te Reo Māori resources.
  • Require all state funded broadcasters (workforce) across all mediums to have a basic fluency level of Te Reo Māori.