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Greens launch billboard waka in te Reo

29 July 2005

Greens launch billboard waka in te Reo

The Green Party is today celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Maori - Maori Language Week 2005 by unveiling a Maori language election billboard.

Green MP Metiria Turei and Auckland-based Green Maori candidates Dave Clendon and Mikaere Curtis are today unveiling the first of the Green billboards, which reads "Maa kakariki, maa pango, ka oti ai te mahi, Kei a koe te mana - It's your vote - split it".

"This billboard is a tongue-in-cheek representation of a whakatauki - sometimes translated as 'many hands make light work'," Mrs Turei says.

"It describes the Greens commitment to work together with tangata whenua on te Tiriti issues and to help to forge a new relationship between tangata whenua and tangata tiriti premised on te Tiriti o Waitangi."

"This billboard carries our key voting message for Maori this election - that you can have the best of both worlds by giving your Maori electorate vote to your favoured local candidate and your Party Vote to the Greens.

"This is a message we know Maori voters will embrace. In the 2002 election Maori voters had a high level of vote splitting: 48.1 percent of Maori roll voters split their votes compared to only 38.5 percent of those on the general roll. Maori are clearly sophisticated users of the MMP system and we want to promote this understanding.

"The Greens were the first to have the Reo on our billboards in the 2002 election and we remain committed to supporting the Reo where we can. I am very proud that we will have two billboards with messages primarily in the Reo and that every large billboard will carry some Reo."

The Greens are also producing a smaller billboard which reads "Tiaki te whenua, manaaki nga mokopuna, honore te tiriti".

"These are a small gestures, but it is important to show that the Reo can be used for different purposes, without direct translation. Direct literal translation into English can undermine the point of a Reo message. Reo speakers should be able to have messages directed specifically for them, to recognise their commitment to the Reo. Many people still feel that if they can't read a Reo message, it is some sort of attack or an affront. The Reo is one of New Zealand's recognised official languages and we should all embrace and respect it in whatever way we can," Mrs Turei says.

What: Metiria Turei unveiling the Greens' Maori language billboard When: TODAY, 11.00am, Friday 29 July Where: Corner of Hopetoun St and Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland.

ENDS

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