Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Taonga Could Kill Maori Language

Taonga Could Kill Maori Language

The attitude of a self-proclaimed `Maori intellectual property campaigner' to Sony PlayStation's The Mark of Kri shows nothing was learned from the Lego Bionicle debacle, ACT Maori Affairs Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Maori keen to see Te Reo grow and flourish as a natural living language should be paying giants like Sony and Lego to use Maori words and symbols, not squelching their enthusiasm by demanding exclusive rights and reparations.

"Languages become easier to learn if the sounds are practiced and familiar. Unfamiliar vowel sounds and combinations are filtered out by the mind. That is one reason why many New Zealanders find it difficult to remember Chinese names.

"A language can only live when people want to use it and the words speak to them naturally. Having millions of children using Maori words at their most impressionable age should be a dream come true for anyone who really wants Te Reo to be more than a museum relic bewilders the majority when trotted out at ceremonial occasions.

"This latest protest may simply drive the message home to international businesses interested by Maori culture, that it is not worth bothering. But worse, it shows the spokespeople have not grasped the essence of intellectual property either.

"Intellectual property is designed to reward and encourage the development of innovation. Trying to extract rentals for things that are easily taken from a common inheritance is simply rent-seeking, like sticking a toll barrier on a long-standing public road.

"I fear that the courts may have contributed to legitimising this attitude by accepting the myth that language is a taonga. No self-respecting public official or lawyer in 1840 would have dreamed of making a language a sacred property. Language can only prosper when it is freely shared.

"The recent mutation of `taonga' now imposes a price on Maori as well as pakeha. This should be a warning of what could happen if indigenous plants and animals are given taonga status," Mr Franks said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news