Over $1mil to Te Tai Rāwhiti for te reo Māori

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

A Te Kāea exclusive, Te Mātāwai has been funded $10mil to support iwi efforts for the revitalisation of the reo.  Today they began distributing these funds to the regions.

70% of the funding is split evenly across seven iwi clusters including Te Tai Rāwhiti for regional and local investment.

Jeremy Tātere McLeod says, "That money will go towards language strategies to improve te reo in communities across the East Coast...Speak the language, put it back into the home- that is the only way we can revive the language in homes throughout the East Coast, that is the first strategy."

Te Mātāwai CEO Te Atarangi Whiu says 25% will be allocated to a national contestable fund for investments that don't meet the iwi cluster criteria or have a more national focus.

Allow the language to flow authentically within communities, marae, homes, everywhere," says McLeod.

"I liken it to a bird, flying over the East Coast, there we see the objective, that the language return to being natural throughout the East Coast," says Whiu.

Te Mātāwai was established in 2016 with thirteen members to lead the revitalisation of te reo Maori on behalf of iwi.

"They have the ultimate say on how they want to revitalise the language in their regions...It's not an easy task and it's not something one can do over a short period of time," says Whiu.

Whiu says empowering regional iwi like Te Tai Rāwhiti to work closely with their people in a more intimate way is a priority for Te Mātāwai in supporting local language revitalisation.