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From te reo Māori Fortnite games to a shortage of reo Māori teachers, sector responds to #MāoriLanguageWeek

Government policy to support te reo Māori in kura and schools has lacked cohesion and has yet to address the shortage of reo Māori teachers. This includes teachers of the language and those able to teach in te reo Māori.

These are findings from research by Te Wāhanga-NZCER exploring what supports the wellbeing of te reo in kura and schools. The research report is called Tautokona te reo: The wellbeing of te reo Māori in kura and schools.

Lead author, Dr Maraea Hunia, said ‘Whānau told us that “wellbeing” included te reo Māori being valued, normal, and used across generations by an increasing number of highly proficient speakers in a wide range of contexts.’

Participants felt that government policy could be more supportive because reo Māori education remains hard to access. In the absence of focussed policy, whānau efforts have been the mainstay of support. Indeed, some policies not directly related to te reo Māori—including the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga—had unintended impacts on the language.

“An audit of policies that examines their effects on te reo Māori would provide a way forward,” said Dr Hunia.

As well as looking at research participants’ views of government policy, the study explored kura and schools’ actions and practices that support te reo, and explored ways that they work with stakeholders to support the wellbeing of te reo Māori.

“The report includes tools for whānau, teachers, boards of trustees, and policy makers because we want to share the good things that are happening in kura and schools,” said Dr Hunia.

See the report on the NZCER website, here. 

A te reo Māori esports competition featuring the world’s most popular online game is just one of the ways New Zealand’s largest provider of te reo Māori education is supporting Te Wiki o te Reo Māori in 2018.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will be part of a Fortnite event on Wednesday at 7pm, where top players will be learning – and playing – the hugely popular game in te reo Māori and streaming it live worldwide.

While it is a relatively small event, Chief Executive Te Ururoa Flavell says the Fortnite promotion is a simple example of supporting the use of te reo Māori in our communities and normalising its use.

“Along with teaching te reo Māori to thousands of tauira (students) each year, we are promoting the use of te reo Māori throughout the organisation and in the communities we serve. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is an excellent time to challenge yourself to use te reo Māori whenever and wherever you can.”

For the second year, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is being held in September to coincide with the increasingly popular Mahuru Māori promotion – where people are challenged to speak only te reo Māori for a day, week or the entire month of September.

Mahuru Māori was initiated by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Poutiaki Reo/Tikanga Paraone Gloyne in 2014 and has grown from a handful of people taking part in its first year to more than 3000 registered participants around the world in 2018, including close to 1000 challenging themselves to speak only te reo Māori for the entire month.

He tahuti mai ngā kaiako i te tūtohi mo Te Reo Māori ki roto i ngā kura.

NZEI Te Riu Roa has welcomed a renewed call from the Green Party for universal te reo Maori, and want to take it one step further starting te reo Māori in early childhood education.

He tahuti mai a NZEI Te Riu Roa hoki i te karanga o te pāti kakariki, kia whakahoungia te reo Maori hei whakapuakitanga mō te katoa, ā, me te whakaaro kia timata ai te reo Māori ki roto i ngā whare kohungahunga i te tuatahi.

NZEI Te Riu Roa Matua Takawaenga Laures Park said all children should have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori and that having universal provision would make the biggest difference in the well-being of tamariki Māori.

Hei tā te Matua Takawaenga o Te Riu Roa, a, Laures Park, kia whai kowhiringa ngā tamariki katoa, ki te ako i te reo Māori, ā, mehemea he whakaritenga kowhiringa, he painga nui mo te oranga o ngā tamariki Māori.

“NZEI Te Riu Roa has been calling for te reo Māori to be a core curriculum subject for a number of years now. There is strong public support for this, and it is time for the Government to act.”

Mai rāno a NZEI Te riu Roa e karanga ana, kia noho te reo Māori hei marau motuhake ki roto i te marautanga. He kaha hoki te marea ki te tautoko te kaupapa nei, me te tono ki te kawanatanga, kia whakamanahia tēnei tono inaianei!

We would like to see te reo Māori begin in early childhood education as it is in kōhanga reo, she said.

“There would need to be support for educators to enact the proposal.”

“Ko tō mātou hiahia, kia timata te reo Māori ki roto i ngā whare kohungahunga, pērā ki ngā kohanga reo e ai ki a Park. Engari me whai kaitautoko mō ngā kaiako, kia āhei rātou ki te whakamanahia i te tūtohi nei.”

Last year Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori (Maori Language Commission) released a report that proposed raising the status and increasing the use of Te Reo by making it a core curriculum subject beginning in Year 1 in 2020 until it is included in all levels up to Year 13 by 2037.

I tērā tau, i tuku mai Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori, he ripoata hei hikingia te mana me te whakapiki mahi o te reo Māori, kia whakamahia tēnei kaupapa he kaupapa marau e timata ana i te tau 1 a te rua tekau mano rua tekau, tae ana ki ngā taumata ake ki te tau 13 a te rua tekau mano, toru tekau ma whitu.

NZEI President Lynda Stuart said teachers understood the importance of nurturing Te Reo for all New Zealanders but often didn’t feel equipped or confident enough to teach it effectively.

E ai ki te Manukura o NZEI TE Riu Roa, a Lynda Stuart, kua mōhio kētia ngā kaiako me pēhea te whāngai i te reo Māori ki ngā tangata katoa whānui atu ki Aotearoa, engari āhua ki wētehi kaiako, kāre rātou e whai rauemi, e maia ana ki te whakaako tēnei kaupapa.

“We encourage the government to embrace this proposal and resource it to become a reality.

“Ka akiaki te kawanatanga kia awhi tēnei kaupapa, me te whakatinanatia tēnei rauemi kia whai oranga te reo Māori.”

“Learning languages is already part of the curriculum and Te Reo is the language of Aotearoa. Normalising Te Reo makes learning more inclusive for Maori children and must be part of our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.”

“Ko te reo Māori te reo tūturu o Aotearoa. Ina kei te whakamāoritia te reo Māori, ka ngāwari te ako, ā, ko te whakawhāiti mai mō ngā tamariki Māori, me tō tātou manawanui ki te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

“With the current teacher shortages, overall capacity would also need to be addressed.”

“Hei whakakapi, he tokoiti ngā kaiako kei ngā kura. Koina tētahi mahi hei whakarahia, hei whakamanahia hoki. Me tiro whānui te kawanatanga ki tēnei kaupapa.”

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