Benefits of Māori medium education highlighted at Te Matatini

In late February the Te Matatini festival took place in Wellington. An estimated 60,000 people attended and 1800 performers took part in what is billed as the “biggest Māori event in the world”.

Te Matatini’s aim is to take kapa haka to the world and despite the inclement weather at times, the event saw record numbers attending and local schools were given free tickets to enable students to see the performances first hand.

The event provided the launching pad for a new series of videos encouraging parents to consider the benefits of the Māori medium education for their children.

The Ministry’s Raukura/Chief Advisor Māori, Dr Wayne Ngata, said educational success is higher for tamariki that stay in the Māori medium pathway, from kōhanga to wharekura, with parents and whānau playing a significant role.

"The education system is government’s most powerful lever for the acquisition of te reo Māori and we must leverage it in order to normalise the use of te reo Māori in everyday use," said Wayne.

"We want to see every child and young person learning through and in te reo Māori by 2025."

The Ministry is one of a number of agencies who are keeping te reo Māori alive in the hearts and minds of New Zealanders, as well as normalising its usage on a daily basis.

"Te reo Māori is unique to Aotearoa-New Zealand and our point of difference from the rest of the world," says Wayne.

Brandon Te Moananui, a producer with the Māori Sidesteps, who were recruited to work on the videos, said working on a kaupapa like Mōu Te Reo was for a good cause.

"As Māori, we believe in the kaupapa and saw our role as bringing to life the idea that keeping your kids in kura leads to educational success," said Brandon.

View the Mōu te reo – Kura Been You video series

Read the full article on the Education Gazette

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