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Ed Sheeran

Reo promoted as New Zealand's language

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The first big event of the new look Maori language week attracted thousands of people to the streets of Wellington to show support for te reo Maori.

Te Taura Whiri chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui says the parade from parliament to Te Papa was about helping all New Zealanders feel comfortable about use of the language in public.

He says promotion of te reo isn't just about Maori, but to survive it needs to become part of the base school curriculum.

That means turning around public attitudes, because at the moment there is limited support for the idea and a much larger percentage strongly opposed.

"There's never really been a concerted effort to promote te reo Maori to the whole country as New Zealand's language, a language everyone has a role to play in restoring to its rightful place, and I think that's the key," Mr Apanui says.

He says if the language was taught in every school, there could be 200,000 new speakers within two years.

NGAHIWI APANUI INTERVIEW

 

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