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Susan Warren: Disappointment over Govt's call to kill language bill - Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

There is disappointment over news the Government is set to cull a proposed law that would have forced schools in New Zealand to teach a second language.
Schools would have had to pick one out of a selection of 10 languages which included te reo Māori and sign language.
The Labour-led parliamentary committee examining the bill, originally proposed by ex-National MP Nikki Kaye, oppose making 10 languages a priority. It says that te reo Māori and sign language should be the priority languages because they are both official languages.
And it said Cook Island Māori, Niuean and Tokelauan and other Pacific languages needed to be valued and taught.
Community Education Trust (COMET) chief executive Susan Warren admitted to Heather du Plessis-Allan the bill was not perfect, but the news is disappointing.
"We had felt that it was possible to make adjustments to it and end up with something really positive. However, I note that the adjustments we were asking for are very much the ones that Labour are listing as the reasons for not taking the bill forward."
Ms Warren says the Government's desire for a national language is policy-first, which she sees as a "positive move if we can move on it reasonably quickly".
She adds there have been key shifts in recent years by the Government in support of teaching te reo Māori in schools, as well as supporting Pacific bilingual education.
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Susan Warren: Disappointment over Govt's call to kill language bill - Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive