Group wants Māori signage installed in major institutions

maori signageThe Māori language advocacy group, Umere, is urging the government to have mandatory Māori signs alongside English ones on major New Zealand institutions like banks, airports and national retail chains.

The group said this will help Māori be recognised as one of New Zealand’s official languages.

Umere chair, Maraea Hunia, said they hope the minister will back them up. She said this kind of signage is accepted in bilingual nations like Canada, The Register reported.

The Umere group wants to see Māori-English signage enforced at banks, airports, schools, national retail chains and government institutions.

Hunia said there is still time for the government to mandate Māori signage as part of the bill, which is set for its second reading in Parliament in the coming weeks.

Te reo Māori is one of New Zealand’s three official languages, but a survey conducted by Statistics NZ revealed only 11 per cent of the population can speak Māori well.

Last year during Māori Language Week, many Kiwi retailers felt it was important to take the opportunity to promote the language.

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