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


Cultural Respect is the Key to Communication Says Flavell

Te Ururoa Flavell
MP for Waiariki
Friday 23rd November 2012

Cultural Respect is the Key to Communication Says Flavell

Te Ururoa Flavell, MP for Waiariki is challenging politicians to watch the language that they use in public settings.

“Our kuia and kaumātua have always schooled us in the language of respect, whether we are in formal marae settings or in any place where words said in haste may be misinterpreted,” said Mr Flavell.

“As politicians we all know what it’s like to be in the firing range of language best unspoken,” said Mr Flavell. “But we have a moral and ethical obligation to think about the impacts of what we say and how we say it whenever we are in the public ear.”

The latest political slip was a statement made by Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce in his response to the claims of the Tertiary Education Union about funding cuts to WelTec. Mr Joyce is reported as saying “They’ve really gone off the reservation today. That’s poor.”

“The Māori Party has been fielding concerns from constituents about the use of a phrase which is offensive to American First Nations” said Te Ururoa.

“The origin of this term dates back to the late 1800s when many native American tribes were relocated from their ancestral homes to parcels of land ‘reserved’ for their inhabitation. The policy was enforced by the United States Army to force tribes to be restricted to these reservations. The pursuit of tribes led to a number of large scale massacres and wars against the native American people.”

“Contemporary use of the concept of ‘off the reservation’ means to slam people who are thinking differently or being crazy – it’s hardly a respectful attitude anyway.”

“Regardless of his intentions or the context of his remarks, it is a salutary lesson to all politicians to be careful of the consequences of inflammatory remarks,” said Mr Flavell.

“The Māori Party has always promoted cultural competency as a means of increasing awareness of cultural diversity and understanding the importance of functioning effectively and respectfully with all peoples.”

“We all need to think before we speak and whether it was Hutt Valley youth or union organisers that Mr Joyce was directing his comments at, there was a better way to explain why level one and two student foundation courses have been cut.”

“Speaking of which, the Māori Party would like to know exactly what the rationale could be for wiping basic pre-training courses when we have so many young people currently missing in the system – missing out on education, employment or training.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news