Hon Koro Wētere

Former Māori Affairs Minister Koro Wētere who died this week will always be remembered for ushering in watershed initiatives for Māori language revitalisation.

Hon Koro Wētere is credited with introducing Te Pire mō te Reo Māori to parliament on 4 April 1986 on the same day the historic report of the Waitangi Tribunal into te reo Māori was presented to him.

Māori Language Commission Chief Executive Ngahiwi Apanui says it was those ground-breaking initiatives that led to the passing of Te Ture mō te Reo Māori in 1987, the establishment of the Māori Language Commission and te reo Māori becoming an official language.

“The provisions of the 1987 Act were largely continued when the Act was replaced in 2016 with a greater commitment from the Crown to revitalisation and the creating of a representative body, Te Mātāwai, to lead Māori and iwi revitalisation work."

“Koro Wētere has contributed to Māori and to the New Zealand political landscape both as a representative of Māori and of the Crown. His legacy is that the initiatives he has led continue to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori which he valued so highly.”