Māori Party asked to come clean about te reo Māori situation
3 April 2014
Māori Party asked to come clean about what’s happening with te reo Māori
It is rumoured the government is planning to disestablish Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission, and Te Māngai Pāho, the Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency, and instead bring all responsibility and funding for te reo Māori under the Ministry of Māori Affairs who will contract outputs with a super agency whose leadership will be appointed by the Crown.
“We need to know if this is the case because if it is, the war on protecting our reo from government interference and abuse is back on,” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.
“We ask the Māori Party to come clean about what’s happening, and for them to commit to keeping the protection and development of our reo independent from government and in the hands of Māori where it rightfully belongs,” said Annette Sykes, MANA President .
“If this is what the government is planning, it’s a clear breach of the Treaty and all of the work that’s been done in the last 45 years to get te reo Māori recognised as a national language and be supported to grow and flourish. It’s in direct breach of the outcomes of the WAI11 Te Reo Māori claim which established Te Taura Whiri as an independent body to foster te reo Māori and watch over its progress,” said Ms Sykes.
“It wipes out 30 years of activism around our reo, and is a huge kick in the face for those who fought long and hard for these gains – and the tens of thousands of whānau who’ve slogged their guts out for decades to ensure its survival on the ground,” said Mr Harawira.
“If there was ever a time we need the Māori Party to step up and say ‘hell no’ to the government – this is it. I sincerely hope they’re not going to be brought off by the promise of a few high up jobs for their mates,” said Mr Harawira.
“This is far too important to be the subject of a backroom deal. We need answers now,” concluded Ms Sykes.