Parliament

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

New TPP Agreed: Govt Must Explain How Canada Got Changes

Jane Kelsey: Overnight in Japan the remaining eleven governments have concluded the ‘revised’ but essentially unchanged Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA-11), now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership. The signing is set for 8 March 2018 in Chile.

University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey predicts ‘the rebranding of the TPPA won’t fool anyone...

Canada has reportedly secured new protections for culture, as well as rules of origin for automobiles, which was not on the list of outstanding items in the TPPA-11 ministerial statement in December last year. More>>

 

Wellington.Scoop: Our Housing Crisis – And The Unintended Consequences

There is no doubt that we are having some huge issues with housing in Wellington. Finding somewhere to live is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive... But why? And what happens next? More>>

ALSO:

Ministerial Inquiry: Broad Look At Mental Health And Addiction Services

The Government has taken a major step towards improving mental health and addiction services with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing details of a ministerial inquiry. More>>

ALSO:

Wealth: Two NZers Own More Than Poorest 30%

A staggering 28 per cent of all wealth created in New Zealand in 2017 went to the richest 1 per cent of Kiwis, while the 1.4 million people who make up the poorest 30 per cent of the population got barely 1 per cent, according to new research released by Oxfam. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Joint Working Group On Pay Equity Principles Reconvened

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway, and Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter, are reconvening the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles as the next step in pay equity for New Zealand women. More>>

ALSO:

Hapū: Prime Minister And Clarke Gayford Expecting First Child

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, have announced that they are expecting their first child in June. “We’re both really happy. We wanted a family but weren’t sure it would happen for us, which has made this news unexpected but exciting." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care. Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More >>

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages