The Green Party's reaffirmed its commitment for te reo Māori to be a universal subject in all schools.

Co-leader Marama Davidson says they want to make the language compulsory in all schools from Years 1 to 10.

“The Green Party's commitment to universal te reo for all children in schools - Year 1 to Year 10 - aiming for having a good solid plan for that to be able to reach that by 2025.”

According to Laures Park from NZEI Te Riu Roa, it has the support of the two unions representing both primary and secondary schools.

“He roa hoki te wā e pānui, e karanga, e kōrero ki te kāwanatanga i taua wā mō tēnei kaupapa, engari kua tae ki te wā.”

And perhaps it is the right time because the head of the Māori Language Commission Ngahiwi Apanui admits the language is on the decline in Māori communities.

“Kei te noho mōrearea tonu te reo Māori. Nā te mea, i roto i ngā tatauranga e whakahaeretia ia rima tau ka kite tātou i te āhuatanga ki te tokomaha o ngā mea e mōhio ana ki te kōrero Māori. I tērā tatauranga ka heke ki te 21% o te iwi Māori katoa e mōhio nei ki te kōrero Māori.”

Apanui also says for the language to survive, Māori can't do it by themselves.

“Nā reira, me huri tātou ki te kimi hoa hei āwhina i a tātou ki te whakarauora i te reo Māori.”

Davidson also says more people are understanding how important te reo Māori is to New Zealand.

“We're now facing a turning tide where people are understanding the importance of protecting our native taonga, our native reo here in Aotearoa New Zealand - the only country in the world that has the right and the responsibility to protect this language, which is also an official language for all of our tamariki.”

The big question now is if this cross-government will support it to become policy.

LIKE