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Mauri Pacific Celebrates Maori Language Week

25th July 1999

For immediate release

Mauri Pacific Leader, Tau Henare, said his party's MPs would celebrate Maori Language week by speaking te reo in Parliament during debates and question time.

Mr Henare said he and Te Tai Hauauru MP, Tuku Morgan would speak only in Maori and would not provide any translations. Other MP's including Rana Waitai, Rev. Ann Batten and Hon. Jack Elder would also speak Maori as often as possible in their speeches in support of Maori Language Week, Tau Henare said.

"This is a conscious effort by Mauri Pacific to support te reo Maori, as an official language of our nation. In doing so we acknowledge the work of people like Hana Te Hemara, who petitioned Parliament in the mid 80's to make Maori an official language," Tau Henare said.

He added that Mauri Pacific would issue press releases this week only in Maori, and the party would not provide any translations for these releases.

"There are various ways that people can celebrate Maori Language week, and this is our contribution. I hope all New Zealanders would participate in the last Maori Language Week celebration for this century, which has brought positive gains for the Maori language and culture."

He said he looked forward to more robust debate in the House this week on the subject of the use of Maori language.

ENDS


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