Developing a New Māori Language Strategy

New Māori Language Strategy confirmed

In December 2013 a suite of proposals for a new Māori Language Strategy was prepared for consultation with iwi and other Māori stakeholder groups. Consultation on the proposals was undertaken during February 2014. Feedback was received during seven regional consultation hui and from a number of written submissions from individuals and groups. In May 2014, Cabinet approved the Government’s Māori Language Strategy 2014.

In May 2014, Cabinet approved the Government’s Māori Language Strategy. You can read the Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples release here.

Cabinet’s decisions are contained in the Cabinet minutes and related Cabinet papers available here:

2014 Māori Language Strategy

The Strategy outlines the Crown’s approach to revitalising the Māori language. It includes new result areas, indicators and targets, principles, and confirms the roles of government. The Strategy also proposes legislation for improving the status of the Māori language and revised arrangements for the Māori language entities currently in Vote: Māori Affairs, as well as the establishment of a new independent, statutory Māori language entity, Te Mātāwai.

A factsheet for the 2014 Māori Language Strategy can be found here.

Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill

The Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill seeks legislative changes to update and strengthen the Māori Language Act in relation to:

  • recognition of Māori language;
  • the establishment, roles, functions, powers and membership of a new independent statutory entity to be known as Te Mātāwai;
  • the roles, functions, powers, and membership of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Te Māngai Pāho, and the board of the Māori Television Service;
  • the transferral of the roles, functions and powers of Te Pūtahi Paoho to Te Mātāwai;
  • the disestablishment of Te Pūtahi Paoho; and
  • consequential amendments to other enactments.

The Bill passed its first reading in the House of Representatives on 24 July 2014 and has been referred to the Māori Affairs Committee for consideration.

Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill Activity

The Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on 3 July 2014. For an e-copy of the Bill please refer to the New Zealand Legislation website.

Te Puni Kōkiri produced a regulatory impact statement on 14 May 2014 to help inform the Government in its considerations of the policy proposals for a new Māori Language Strategy, particularly in relation to the proposals for new arrangements for the Māori Language entities.

A copy of this regulatory impact statement is provided on this website, and on the Treasury website.

Te Puni Kōkiri is required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill. The disclosure statement provides access to information about the policy development of the Bill and identifies any significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill. A copy of the statement can be found at

Consultation Hui

Seven public consultation hui were held during the month of February 2014, and one in March 2014 with Iwi Leaders Forum representation.

The following consultation material was developed to guide conversations with Iwi and Māori language stakeholders:

A summary of minutes was taken for each of the consultation hui.


Māori language stakeholders were invited to make submissions at any of the consultation hui, and/or to make a written submission on the Government’s proposed Māori Language Strategy. The deadline for receiving submissions was 5pm on Friday 28 February 2014.

Te Puni Kōkiri received 55 written submissions from individuals and groups. Personal details such as addresses, phone numbers and email addresses have been removed from submissions. A few submitters also asked that their names be removed from submissions.

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