Māori language expert critical of political parties

Māori language expert critical of political parties

A Maori language expert warns Maori
not to be distracted by political parties turning Maori
language revitalisation into a political football during this year’s
general elections. Raniera Harrison has more. The value of the language rests on the lips
of the Maori people. It’s in the hands of those fighting for its survival, those who have a deep affinity for the language. According to Jeremy Tatere MacLeod, the political events
over the last couple of days are not at all
in the spirit of being Maori. I don’t believe that anything
will come of giving it to the political parties,
whether it be Maori Party, Mana, Labour, Greens,
National, or whoever. What I’m saying is that
for a long time now this topic has been debated
and written into law, the time has come to do something, to put our hands up. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the political arena
become flooded with talk of formalising
te reo Maori in all schools across the country. The question is,
are they using this to garner votes? The vehicle by which our aspirations
are realised is te reo Maori, and there is no party
better equipped than us to uphold that. To me, regardless of who’s in power, which party it is, it will still be the minority
left to fight for the language. MacLeod says Maori politicians
need to upskill and practise what they’re preaching. They have to exemplify being correct
in their use of te reo Maori, being hungry for the language, and so to those politicians
who don’t yet speak Maori, learn and be an example
for the people. The challenge has been set. Who is going to pick it up? Who will carry it on? Raniera Harrison, Te Karere.

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