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Choice not compulsion best for reo learning
Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi

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A leader in the Kōhanga reo movement is speaking out against making Māori lessons compulsory in schools.

The Green Party has reiterated its election policy of adding te reo to the core curriculum.

But Dame Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi wants whanau to come to the language themselves.

"I feel that people who are compelled build up a resentment straight away. I don't want non-Māori to feel resentful. I want them to feel there is a place for them, that they are motivated, they understand how important it it. it is a different approach," she says.

Dame Iritana says lack of teachers isn’t an excuse for not having te reo Māori as an option in schools for those that want it, as the Ministry of Education has had 37 years since the beginning of Kōhanga Reo to train up the necessary workforce.

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