The Minister for Māori Development says te reo will be a “core subject” in primary and intermediate schools by 2025. There is a “huge challenge ahead” to reach that goal, with the nation in the midst of a teacher shortage – let alone teachers that can speak Māori.
“It’s really hard to find teachers who can backfill, certainly within the kura kaupapa system – I expect that is the case within the mainstream,” Nanaia Mahuta told The AM Show.
“Often Māori language teachers get picked up and taken into the private sector because the language also has an economic value and contribution to make.”
Research shows learning a second language, particularly at an early age, can do wonders for the brain. Ms Mahuta says in New Zealand, that second language should be Māori.