Te Reo healthy

The Domminion Post yesterday (A2, Bilingual skills becoming the norm by Paul Easton)  reports on the number of Te Reo Maori speakers going up, with 52% of Maori saying they could speak it, with siginificent increases in the number of speakers, and the number using it in their own homes. This shows that the language is in no danger of dying, and does not worry me. Although this might be outrageous to some Maori, there is no logical reason why the Maori language (or culture) should be given special status to other languages or cultures. This is not to say it shouldn’t be used, Maori should have the same ability to use their language as any other culture does, and that it shouldn’t be protected by the state. The state should allow Maori language schools for children e.t.c and fund them, but do the same for Chinese language (or any other language)schools where there is demand for them. One can argue that Maori is the indegenous language of New Zealand, and thus should be protected, but by the same logic Latin (if not an earlier language) is the native language of Italy, and the Italian government should keep latin alive, and the indegenous language of England is probably some acient form of gaelic spoken before the Anglo-Saxons arrived, and the British government should keep it alive. The only arguement that I see for giving special status to Maori is the fact that to its shame our government did hurt the language badly by encouraging people to speak English only, including having children disciplined for speaking Maori at school, but in recent decades, the government has probably done enough to compensate for this. Ultimately, it should not be the governments job to tell people which languages they should use.

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2 Comments on “Te Reo healthy”

  1. hana Says:

    You are the reason why I am ashamed to be labelled “pakeha”. Do us all a favor and read some New Zealand history. Disregard for Maori culture is just one of the side effects of being “colonised” but the one i have the most issue with.

    “the government has probably done enough to compensate for this.”

    What exactly do you believe to be the “compensation” for the destruction of a culture and a way of life? Yes, there is the small amount of funding that has been given for the creation of Maori TV, but this is seriously minor when really compared to destruction.

    But of corse, you are of the camp that believes Maori, and indeed anyone who is hurt historically, should just get over it. No doubt you are also from a privileged background and thus commenting from your high horse.


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