‘Kōhanga Reo chronically underfunded’ - Professor Paul Moon

In an interview with Māori TV’s show Kawekōrero, historian Paul Moon says that the solution to help strengthen te reo Māori is to dramatically fund Kōhanga Reo and to make it a nationwide organisation.

He goes on to say there is a need to create a demand where Te Reo Māori can be spoken on a daily basis.

Moon’s latest book Killing Te Reo Māori received heavy criticism, including a full review of his book by Māori language expert Hemi Kelly.

“The so-called experts have had 40 years to address this crisis, it’s got worse, so I say to them in return, well, if they are experts how come things have got worse?” says Moon.

Moon believes there’s a real crisis in the language in terms of a substantial drop in the number of native speakers.

“Chronic underfunding of organisations like Kōhanga Reo which has a flow-on effect in terms of native speakers and a whole lot of other systemic problems, a whole lot of other statistical problems- that decline in the proportion of Māori that speak te reo- all these are converging into a crisis and some more radical steps need to be taken,” says Moon.