Thursday October 19, 2017   Last updated 03:42AM

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Pakeha champions help reo acceptance

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The appearance of more Pakeha in this year’s Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori is a deliberate strategy as the Maori Language Commission tries to engage the whole of Aotearoa in the revitalisation of te reo.

Chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui says that’s Te Taura Whiri’s new remit now some of its previous functions have been passed on to Te Matawai, which is appointed directly by Maori language stakeholders.

He says Pakeha broadcasters like TVNZ breakfast host Jack Tame are worth their weight in gold in terms of promoting the language to mainstream New Zealand.

"The first time I turned on that breakfast show and heard someone way ‘Tena koutou katoa, naumai, haere mai,’ I thought ‘what’s that?’ I turned around and there’s this young Pakeha man who’re really putting in some hard yards for te reo Maori. Even people like Guyon Espiner on Radio New Zealand, these people are really important in bringing non-Maori into our space, into the reo space," Mr Apanui says.

There is just two weeks are left for nominations to Te Taura Whiri’s 2017 Maori Language Awards, which will be held in Wellington on November 24.



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