Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Re: Ministry Leak: Staff Backlash After Te Reo Māori Scrubbed From Official Use Ahead Of New Government

Te Kaunihera Māori o Aoteaora (The New Zealand Māori Council) is concerned by news reports suggesting that a government ministry may have been removing Te Reo Māori from Government communications.

Te Reo Māori is a highly prized taonga of Māori. As such, there is a positive obligation on the Crown to take steps to preserve Te Reo and protect the right of Māori to continue to use it as their principal language. This has been acknowledged by past governments and affirmed before the courts. Māori also have an equal right to access, and to participate in, government.

The gradual inclusion of Te Reo in all forms of communication at all levels of government has been an essential element of meeting these obligations.

Parliament has recognised this need in legislation. Te Reo Māori has been declared to be an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand. That legislation also cemented the right of Māori to communicate with government in Te Reo, and established a Māori Language Commission with the express purpose of developing policies to make the integration of Te Reo as an official language a practical reality.

The use of Te Reo has always been driving by ideas of inclusion, not exclusion. However, we are aware that people of all races who did not have access to Te Reo education can feel disconcerted by its growing use.

We are also conscious of the rhetoric from some of the candidates in the recent general election going so far as to describe the use of Te Reo by government as its “weaponisation”. The Council believes such statement take advantage of these feelings of unease and misleading people about the nature and purpose of the use of Te Reo.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

It is important that our public officials remain unaffected by this demagoguery. Short of a legislative change, any policy that seeks to reverse the integration of Te Reo Māori as an official language would be plainly unlawful. Any such moves would be a breach of the Crown’s obligations under Te Tiriti.

We seek a formal response from the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that no such measures are to be taken at the Ministry. And we publicly give notice that the Council stands ready, as it has done in the past, to take action to fight for the protection of these important rights.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How Climate Change Threatens Cricket‘s Future

Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else and complaining that he's inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” - which is how most of us would describe his own coalition agreements, 100-Day Plan, and backdated $3 billion handout to landlords... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.