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Maori Party undermines Maori Language Commission

Maori Party undermines Maori Language Commission

ACT Maori Affairs spokesman Stephen Franks today called on the Maori Language Commission to say what is more important: `give it a go' as their expensive campaign has urged, or plum-in-the-mouth pronunciation as the Maori Party's Pita Sharples is demanding.

"Maori language champions can't have it both ways. Even before the Maori Party appoints its language police they will slow the growth of the language if they get across the message that mispronunciation is deeply resented. How many will `give it a go' if they are anxious about causing offence?

"Unfamiliar language users know they have no chance of avoiding mispronunciation. So will the Minister of Maori Affairs stand up to reassure well-meaning people?

"The Minister must put a line in the sand. Otherwise people won't go near the language in fear of being criticised and sneered at by language snobs. That would be very counter-productive," said Mr Franks.

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