Wairoa leads move to bilingual town

District Council leads the way in implementing te reo Maori policy.

District Council leads the way in implementing te reo Maori policy.

File picture

WAIROA District Council is on course to become the first council in New Zealand to implement a te reo Maori policy. The policy is a stepping stone towards becoming the country’s first bilingual town, after the launch of Te Wairoa Reorua 2040 in December, 2012.

Te Wairoa Reorua 2040 is the vision of four organisations, Te Kura Motuhake o Te Ataarangi, Nga Kohanga Reo o te rohe o Te Wairoa, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Kahungunu o Te Wairoa and Te Taiwhenua o Te Wairoa.

They have come together with the Human Rights Commission to work on a strategy to set Wairoa on the path to becoming fully bilingual by 2040.

The Te Reo Maori policy, designed to develop and promote Maori throughout the organisation, will be tabled at the council’s meeting on May 9.

Maori standing committee chairman Kiwa Hammond says the policy is designed to foster positive attitudes and values about te reo Maori among staff so the use of it becomes a valued part of the organisation.

“Wairoa has arguably led the bilingual town conversation over the past five years and continues to lead in terms of local government policy development.

“The passing of the Maori Language Act 2016 underlines the responsibility of the Crown and government agencies to support and promote the proper use of te reo Maori.

“This policy signifies Wairoa District Council’s commitment to the language and acknowledges the important status of te reo Maori in our community.

“With a population almost 60 percent Maori, and a sizeable Maori-speaking population well above the national average, it makes sense that Wairoa lead the way with this policy.

“We support any initiative that promotes the use of the language. Our proposed te reo Maori policy will enable our district to further the support for the Te Wairoa Reorua 2040/bilingual Wairoa initiative.

“I applaud any other district that promotes the use of te reo Maori. This isn’t a competition because, at the end of the day, the real winner is te reo Maori.”

One of the Maori standing committee’s objectives is to empower staff to use te reo Maori by providing access to tools and resources.

Wairoa District Council signs, where appropriate to do so, will gradually become bilingual (as resources permit).

The order will be Maori first and English second. Bilingual signage will be supported by a robust translation and quality assurance review process.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little congratulated the standing committee for having proactive discussions and developing the policy for Wairoa District Council and the community.

“We look forward to receiving the policy at the council meeting next Tuesday.”

WAIROA District Council is on course to become the first council in New Zealand to implement a te reo Maori policy. The policy is a stepping stone towards becoming the country’s first bilingual town, after the launch of Te Wairoa Reorua 2040 in December, 2012.

Te Wairoa Reorua 2040 is the vision of four organisations, Te Kura Motuhake o Te Ataarangi, Nga Kohanga Reo o te rohe o Te Wairoa, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Kahungunu o Te Wairoa and Te Taiwhenua o Te Wairoa.

They have come together with the Human Rights Commission to work on a strategy to set Wairoa on the path to becoming fully bilingual by 2040.

The Te Reo Maori policy, designed to develop and promote Maori throughout the organisation, will be tabled at the council’s meeting on May 9.

Maori standing committee chairman Kiwa Hammond says the policy is designed to foster positive attitudes and values about te reo Maori among staff so the use of it becomes a valued part of the organisation.

“Wairoa has arguably led the bilingual town conversation over the past five years and continues to lead in terms of local government policy development.

“The passing of the Maori Language Act 2016 underlines the responsibility of the Crown and government agencies to support and promote the proper use of te reo Maori.

“This policy signifies Wairoa District Council’s commitment to the language and acknowledges the important status of te reo Maori in our community.

“With a population almost 60 percent Maori, and a sizeable Maori-speaking population well above the national average, it makes sense that Wairoa lead the way with this policy.

“We support any initiative that promotes the use of the language. Our proposed te reo Maori policy will enable our district to further the support for the Te Wairoa Reorua 2040/bilingual Wairoa initiative.

“I applaud any other district that promotes the use of te reo Maori. This isn’t a competition because, at the end of the day, the real winner is te reo Maori.”

One of the Maori standing committee’s objectives is to empower staff to use te reo Maori by providing access to tools and resources.

Wairoa District Council signs, where appropriate to do so, will gradually become bilingual (as resources permit).

The order will be Maori first and English second. Bilingual signage will be supported by a robust translation and quality assurance review process.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little congratulated the standing committee for having proactive discussions and developing the policy for Wairoa District Council and the community.

“We look forward to receiving the policy at the council meeting next Tuesday.”

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