The Māori Sidesteps have been recruited to add humour to a new series of videos encouraging parents to consider the benefits of Māori medium education pathways for their kids.

The group has been working with the Ministry of Education to support the Mōu Te Reo campaign and their new videos will feature at this year’s Te Matatini event starting in Wellington this week.

The Ministry’s Raukura/Chief Advisor Māori, Dr Wayne Ngata, said educational success is higher for tamariki that stay in the Māori medium pathway, from kōhanga to wharekura, with parents and whānau playing a significant role.

Brandon Te Moananui, of the Māori Sidesteps, said working on a kaupapa like Mōu Te Reo was for a good cause.

“As Māori, we believe in the kaupapa and saw our role as bringing to life the idea that keeping your kids in kura leads to educational success,” said Brandon.

The Ministry is one of a number of agencies striving to keep te reo Māori alive in the hearts and minds of New Zealanders, as well as normalising its usage on a daily basis.

Te Matatini 2019 is an ideal launching pad to promote the benefits of learning te reo Māori, and learning in and through te reo Māori.

“Te reo Māori is unique to Aotearoa-New Zealand and our point of difference from the rest of the world.

“The education system is government’s most powerful lever for the acquisition of te reo Māori and we must leverage it in order to normalise the use of te reo Māori in everyday use,” said Wayne.

Teacher recruitment and scholarships will also feature as part of the Ministry’s promotions at Te Matatini, along with the award winning Oti te Nanekoti, a story designed to help 4-7 year olds learn about the power of kindness.

The Ministry of Education has been supporting Te Matatini since 2009.

Te Matatini Chief Executive, Carl Ross, said the Ministry’s support was important.

“Producing an event like Te Matatini is a massive undertaking. But nowhere in the world do you see over a thousand of the world’s leading exponents of kapa haka in a single event, and with the Ministry’s support we are able to showcase our culture to the world and it’s something that makes everyone involved very proud of,” Carl said.

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