The Te Tai Tokerau representative on a body set up to lead te reo Maori revitalisation on behalf of iwi will be heading the establishment phase of the new organisation over the next six months.

Te Waihoroi Shortland, of Ngati Hine, was appointed as the Te Tai Tokerau representative on Te Matawai and has now been made chairman of the independent statutory body.

"This is a high power table and it is my privilege to sit at the head of that table for the next six months. I am amazed by the whole range of skill sets," he said.

Te Matawai was established under the Maori Language Act to promote the health and well-being of te reo Maori and absorb the role of Te Putahi Paoho - the electoral college of Maori Television that represents Maori stakeholder interests in the Maori Television Service.


Mr Shortland said an inaugural meeting of the body held in Otaki last week was productive.

He said a working group had been established, which by the end of the year will lead to an appointment of a chief executive office, negotiate a purchase agreement with the Minister of Maori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, and set up the inaugural Runanga Reo - an executive group of board members who will engage directly with responsible Cabinet ministers to play a strategic way forward for te reo Maori initiatives.

"This is the first and only group in the country, that I am aware of, who gets to sit at the Cabinet table. This is probably the first practical exercise of shared governorship, the first time the kawangatanga between the original signatories and the Crown are being materialised," he said.

Mr Shortland said his chairman position was set for six months to cover the establishment of the board and allow it time to assess the broader responsibilities that come with the chair and deputy chair positions.