Calls to make te reo compulsory

Te reo Maori should become compulsory in New Zealand, says Maori broadcaster Willie Jackson.

His comment comes after statistics show the proportion of Maori able to hold an everyday conversation in te reo Maori has decreased over the last 17 years.

Maori broadcaster Willie Jackson believes te reo Maori should be compulsory in New Zealand. Image: Maori TV.

This week is “Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori” (Maori Language Week) with this year’s theme “Akina te reo” (behind you all the way), which is about using te reo Maori to support people, to inspire and to cheer on. Maori Language Week runs from July 4 to 10.

Willie has been a long-time advocate of te reo Maoriand he made his comment earlier this week on Maori Television’s current affairs show Native Affairs.

Hosted by Oriini Tipene-Leach, the show focused in on the issue, “does New Zealand care about te reo Maori?” The show invited a mixture of politicians and media commentators to talk on the issue.

Willie says the majority of Pakeha didn’t support the language.

“That’s why we have to enshrine it in the law. It has to be made compulsory… You know you get all these people who say ‘no you can’t make it compulsory because there is not enough teachers, not enough resources’.”

“But the reality is, if you make it compulsory and then the Government prioritises it. Then they find the funding and then they find the resources. They [Government] always do. Once it is law everything changes.”

New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone says New Zealanders, especially Pakeha, do care about te reo Maori.

“My experience is that there is a growing ground swell amongst Pakeha, to learn and speak Maori. It’s just that there is not enough of them and I think that we should at least acknowledge those who are wanting to learn Maori.

“Not only that a number of them are realising that in order to go forward as a nation they need to have some understanding of the indigenous language of Aotearoa.”

A Statistics New Zealand reports shows between 1996 and 2013, the proportion of the Maori population able to converse in the language has decreased from 25 per cent to 21.3 per cent. The same report showed the only age group in which te reo speakers had increased was only among those aged 65 and over.

Waiariki MP and Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says the declining number of people who could speak Maori is a concern.

“I think it’s fair to say if you take the statistics which say five per cent of tamariki throughout this country are learning te reo Maori.

“The number of students in kohanga reo are going down and the same is happening in te kura kaupapa. Although it is starting to levelling out. But 5 per cent, that isn’t going to cut it… therefore we’ve got to do better.”

Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta says it’s important to make the language more accessible to more New Zealanders.

“If you look at the demographic of New Zealand by 2025, we will have a browning of the population and with that comes an affirmation of our culture.

“There is a strong and stable cohort coming through and we need to grow that. But more importantly we need to ensure te reo Maori is accessible to more New Zealanders because the browning of the population will require it.”


@ Peter Dey

Posted on 18-07-2016 14:51 | By flyingtoaster

You are well off topic. This is about educating my children, in the manner that I deem best for them, AND not having more of MY rights taken away.

karlpenlington, fair comment

Posted on 18-07-2016 14:37 | By Peter Dey

Karl, it is not possible for our education system to provide foreign language learning to all primary students. Second language learning is valuable to all students, the earlier the better. If non-Maori students learn Maori right from starting school then they will do better with a foreign language later. It is possible for our education system to provide compulsory Maori to all primary students. It would be unworkable to make it optional. Ask a primary teacher.

flyingtoaster, Government should redress its damage in the past

Posted on 18-07-2016 14:04 | By Peter Dey

flying toaster, Government action in the past undermined the survival of the Maori language. The language has survived because of the commitment of Maori themselves. Treaty settlements for Government wrongdoing have returned about 10% of the value of land wrongfully taken. Maori have accepted this small compensation with goodwill and not resentment. It would be fitting if people like you accepted with goodwill the measures the Government is now taking to redress the damage of the past, including the possibility of compulsory Maori in Primary Schools. Government funding for things Maori is insignificant compared with the money saved by paying only 10% land compensation. There is no regulation that prevents non-Maori students attending Maori schools. Non-Maori students simply do not want to attend or they are not competent speakers of Maori. It takes two fluent parents to speak Maori at home. You should realise that is rare not lazy.

Kenworthlogger, learning is harder after leaving school

Posted on 18-07-2016 13:44 | By Peter Dey

Kenworthlogger, you asked why more Maori do not learn their language if it is so valuable. Once people leave school and have a job and family responsibilities then making time to learn Maori is very difficult. Ordinary Maori families live in non-Maori communities involved with local school and club activities. They do not move in situations where Maori language ever occurs easily. Maori who are dedicated to Maori language and culture keep Maori language, culture and schools alive but they are 20% of Maori according to the statistics. The other 80% are not apathetic. It is just a practical impossibility for people leading full family lives in a totally English language environment to be able to do any better. That is why compulsory Maori in Primary Schools would be a great thing.


Posted on 18-07-2016 13:33 | By karlpenlington

why do my kids who are both non Maori be forced to learn a language that is not ours and will have no benefit for them. I want them to learn a second language but I want the right to choose that language, not have someone else choose for me. I do believe the Maori language should be available in all schools just not compulsory,

@Peter Dey

Posted on 18-07-2016 12:09 | By flyingtoaster

It seems to me that cultural disharmony is proliferated by Maori, not by non-Maori.

@Peter Dey

Posted on 18-07-2016 12:06 | By flyingtoaster

The government site ( Te Wharekura o Mauao "Some students in M?ori Medium", and 100% Maori roll. This is clearly a Maori ONLY school.

@ Peter

Posted on 18-07-2016 10:36 | By Crash test dummies

You say "cultural disharmony" is causing wars, but you don’t address why there is cultural disharmony "cultural disharmony" in the first place. Cultural disharmony results from when one group (usually small) see it as a right to have more, to have privilege above and beyond others. The Sunis in Iraq are a good example, they used that position to obtain addition privileges, funny thing is they to are some 10% odd of the population there.

Te Reo Maori

Posted on 18-07-2016 10:25 | By flyingtoaster

Historicaly Maori have NO written language they relied on symbolism in carvings and weaving. Maori had no literacy or numeracy. Maori did not create a written language. Non-Maori gave Maori the written language we know today. Non-Maori standardised the Maori language throughout the country, giving te reo Maori, so that all the iwi can communicate. Te reo includes a lot of words and names of things that didn’t exist historically.... Maori demand, the Crown is obligated to protect the Maori language... Yet in the vast majority of cases no effort is made by Maori to speak te reo immersively in the home... its lazyness

Peter Dey

Posted on 18-07-2016 09:55 | By flyingtoaster

How can you say Te Wharekura o Mauao does not exclude non-maori students. 100% of the school roll is Maori. The decile rating is 3 - indicating the low socio-economic group. The entire ethos of the school is strictly Maori only. Imagine the outcry if Maori wasn’t taught in a mainstream school.. just look at the opinions expressed here. Maori have Maori schools, non Maori do not. Maori get government funding where other ethnicities do not. It seems Maori are happy to sit back, and get non-Maori and the governemnt, to pay for the perservation and advancement of Maori culture.

crazyhorse, racial disharmony is all around the world

Posted on 17-07-2016 14:48 | By Peter Dey

crazyhorse seems to be blind to the racial and cultural disharmony that is the cause of armed conflict all around the world. Our leaders in New Zealand have worked hard to minimise racial conflict. They have not followed the suggestion of crazyhorse to allow the majority view to totally dominate minority views. Our MMP Parliamentary system is designed to allow minority views to be heard. Democracy is rule for all the people, not for just what the majority wants. Democracies all round the world seem to be very aware of this now. They see the violent results of treating minority communities badly.

Racial harmony?

Posted on 17-07-2016 14:02 | By crazyhorse

Can’t wait till honest Johny Key signs over "our water rights", racial harmony will be at a peak lol, where will it end Pete.

crazyhorse, our Parliament has rejected your approach

Posted on 17-07-2016 13:31 | By Peter Dey

crazyhorse, our elected leaders in Parliament have decided that policies to bulldoze Maori concerns and deny justice to Maori are policies that only bring racial disharmony. They believe that racial harmony is good for us all. In the 1970’s there was widespread racial violence because of Government injustice to Maori over many years back to 1840. So we had Maori made an official language, the Treaty of Waitangi Act and the Waitangi Tribunal put in place followed by Treaty settlements. This has led to greater racial harmony. Our leaders know that having a referendum on some racial issues will not help racial harmony. They have greater wisdom than people who spend their lives mixing only with those in their own community of interest. Andrew Judd, Mayor of New Plymouth, had a shift in racial understanding when he mixed outside of his previous community of interest.

overit, Maori are richer just not richer than Pakeha

Posted on 17-07-2016 13:15 | By Peter Dey

overit, the average Maori is not richer than the average Pakeha. Maori communities are getting better off as a result of Treaty settlements, but that is not making them richer than Pakeha. As a nation we are trying to address the disadvantages imposed on Maori by previous Government injustice. At present Treaty settlements are being directed to Maori communities and their facitilies not Maori individuals.


Posted on 17-07-2016 11:51 | By overit

hit the nail on the head when he says the average Maori does not get richer from the Treaty. So where do the profits of their businesses go?

Maths verses Maori?

Posted on 17-07-2016 11:40 | By crazyhorse

Lol, children learn mathematics because they "need" maths to get ahead in life, to get a job. Hmmmm, should my children learn maths or maori, if the maori language is a so important to ""everyone"" why is it people are not interested in learning it, they have to be "forced", you will speak our language, we will teach it in schools, it’s not up to you it’s up to ’use’. I know lets have referendum?, have you noticed Pete whats happening around the world, Brexit, Trump, people are sick of a minority pushing there views down everyone else’s throat. Let the public decide, what do you reckon Pete, referendum on maori language in schools, actually lets have a referendum on the treaty and it’s place in NZ, let the people speak, democracy, what ya reckon Pete?.

crazyhorse, a compulsory curriculum is not brainwashing

Posted on 17-07-2016 11:11 | By Peter Dey

crazyhorse, describing compulsory Maori language as brainwashing does not make sense when most of the National Curiculum is already compulsory. It is already in the curriculum that pupils should learn a second language. The only reason this is not already compulsory is because nobody has worked out the best way to do it. Compulsory Maori is the best suggestion so far. Crazyhorse, you do not have a better suggestion. It is not brainwashing to have a compulsory curriculum. That is what we have already

crazyhorse, rationally compulsory Maori would be good

Posted on 17-07-2016 11:00 | By Peter Dey

Crazyhorse, there are eight learning areas in the National Curriculum. Seven of them already have compulsory objectives but not languages. For example pupils do not study mathematics because it is interesting. The National Curriculum makes them study mathematics because it will benefit them when they are older, even though many teachers and students do not like mathematics. Compulsory Maori language will benefit pupils when they learn it and when they are older. Regular teachers are capable of teaching Te Reo Maori if the amount taught is limited. Up to now it seems that everybody has assumed that compulsory Te Reo Maori would be given the same time allowance as English or Mathematics. We do not have the teaching resources to do that but we do have the resources to teach a limited amount of Maori language to all pupils from when they start school.

We are not in North Korea

Posted on 17-07-2016 10:28 | By crazyhorse

You can’t force us to speak "your" language,our schools are there to educate not as a platform to brainwash or spread "your" propaganda, what will it be next, and all you campers know there will be something else just around the corner, the only question is, how much will it cost us and what other rights it will take away!.

Ask yourselves, whats

Posted on 16-07-2016 17:42 | By crazyhorse

Going on in this country, maori language week and making news in the herald and other media, lets drop the English version of the national anthem and our olympic team is "to white", make up your own minds, leaque and rugby are mostly pacific islanders and maori, and don’t forget all the "maori" only sports clubs, carnivals and what ever around nz. Why is it only white people can be racist?.

Total cost, for what?

Posted on 16-07-2016 17:31 | By crazyhorse

From the start of the "debate" making te re maori "compulsory" in schools, and, they have been talking about this for a long time now the main problem was not enough teachers trained in te reo, Pete talks about "regular" teachers doing the teaching, wonder what the teachers would think about that, not that they’d say anything about it, we all have seen what happens in the public sector when someone questions anything maori. The main thing here that Pete and big Willie can’t hide from is apathy, are people including teachers interested in learning te reo, maori are not, and if they are or anyone else is interested there are total immersion schools, have we all forgotten that, if you go online there are te reo courses online, night school, and the big one for maori is if they "are" interested" it will be payed for,problem being?.

ignorance or apathy?

Posted on 16-07-2016 17:18 | By Darren

Kenworthlogger wonders if the benefits of learning a second language like te reo are so extensive and well established then why don’t more people take advantage of it? This is an excellent question and crops up often. Why do so many people eat white bread when brown bread is healthier? Why do so many people drink fizzy sugar drinks when water is healthier? I think the answer is a mixture of ignorance and apathy. Some people may genuinely not be aware of the benefits. Others may not consider the benefits worth the effort. There are also 2 different paradigms about language development obvious in these comments. Some seem to think the brain’s language ability is fixed, so what is used up for one language is not available for another. Another paradigm sees it more like a muscle, so the more you use it the stronger it gets.


Posted on 16-07-2016 16:58 | By Darren

Sorry if those figures were unclear. Look at it this way. Among Te Reo speakers 55 years and over, 15% learnt it as their first language, while 85% learnt it as a second language. 45-54 years 6%/94%. 35-44 years 4%/96%. 15-34 years 8%/92%. These are the one who are really fluent speakers. However census data shows over half of the Maori population can speak some te reo.

crazyhorse, Treaty settlements are only 10% compensation

Posted on 16-07-2016 16:04 | By Peter Dey

crazyhorse should remember every time he talks about Treaty troughing and race based funding that Treaty settlements have returned only 10% of what Maori lost through Government wrongdoing. People should therefore not get worked up if the Government makes an effort to be generous in trying to redress the injustice that Maori have suffered. Race based funding does not make the average Maori richer than Pakeha. It just helps to reduce the disadvantage that previous Government actions have created.

Crazyhorse, your objections are very weak

Posted on 16-07-2016 15:14 | By Peter Dey

Crazyhorse, the total cost for Te Reo Maori to be compulsory would be low because the teaching would have to be done mostly by the regular teachers that we have now. At the junior level the teaching of Te Reo Maori would be quite manageable for them. The idea that this would be race-based funding with no benefit to non-Maori pupils is not correct. Language experts make it clear that there is a benefit in learning two languages. Also foreign languages can only be taught in secondary schools because of the need for specialist teachers. The language experts are clear that learning a third language is much easier than the learning of a second language. So an introductory second language (Maori) from first starting school makes it much easier to learn a foreign language later.

@ crazyhorse

Posted on 16-07-2016 14:19 | By Crash test dummies

Agreed, no doubt about it.

Get back to the thread.

Posted on 16-07-2016 00:04 | By crazyhorse

Te reo Maori should become compulsory in New Zealand, says Maori broadcaster Willie Jackson. No it shouldn’t!.

JAFFA, the hard evidence proves you wrong

Posted on 15-07-2016 13:00 | By Peter Dey

JAFFA, students in wharekura outperform Maori students in mainstream schools. The evidence for Te Wharekura o Mauao supports this. Students in wharekura are high academic achievers across all subjects. They study and pass exams in English. Check out the results for any wharekura on the internet. There may be students from wharekura who cannot find a job in the Maori culture field. Many students in many fields have the same problem. They simply retrain into something else. Wharekura students have a good academic foundation to do this.

Why the hate & disrespect?

Posted on 15-07-2016 11:53 | By Blessed

I dont think learning the language shld b compulsary, but y wont people jst try and pronounce maori words & NAMES correctly?? Maori is not an option in all schools and it shld be. I was unable to learn the language till i got to high school because i grew up rurally. People are very happy to exploit maori arts, crafts and culture both here and internationally yet NZers cant even ’try respectfully’ to pronounce the words? Why? What is the reason? Its a new age, many of us r from various regions of the world, y not learn a little about the country n culture that u sell to the world yet broadcast negatively. As a part english, scotish, italian & maori i dont get perks as so many suggest being ’part maori’


Posted on 15-07-2016 11:36 | By Crash test dummies

And there is the handicap for life that then results, attendees learn more of the same in an ever decreasing world of fluent speakers and an even more so for those who lack English, the Kamatua is absolutely correct. He deals with the mess and carnage of being Maori fluent and deficient in English, wake up and smell he roses bro, the ship has long since past you by, these poor kids when the reach adult-hood find that the world is a far different place than portrayed at school and so they hit the wall hard and have little options available to them. That sadly is the end result, while you remain in la-la land on the consequence of a few have nice cozy jobs overpaid in the education system for no apparent reason than self gratification then there will always be consequences for others to suffer, they are/do.

flyingtoaster, only fluency in Maori is required

Posted on 15-07-2016 09:32 | By Peter Dey

Te Wharekura o Mauao does not exclude Pakeha students. However students are required to be competent speakers of Maori. It is not a school for students to learn to speak Maori. It is a school for students who already can speak Maori.


Posted on 15-07-2016 09:02 | By crazyhorse

In 2009 funding for the maori language was around $600 million, that included maor tv and other tax payer funded programs to target maori language, one can only guess at what the spend is now, not the truth anyway, as Willie will tell you it costs a lot to "administer" lol.

@ darren

Posted on 15-07-2016 08:51 | By flyingtoaster

the statistics you show total 33%.. this would indicate that the remaining 67% of people learning Te Reo Maori as a first language must be 14 years and under


Posted on 15-07-2016 08:20 | By flyingtoaster

Race based funding is certainly a real thing. Te Wharekura o Mauao is a Maori only school, with a roll of 200 students. You can bet your boots, that there would be a huge public outcry if there was a school that Maori were excluded from.

te reo as first language

Posted on 14-07-2016 21:59 | By Darren

The statistics for learning te reo as a first language also reflect this age distribution: 55+ years 15%. 45-54 6%. 35-44 4%. 15-34 8%.


Posted on 14-07-2016 20:51 | By Darren

So there are 3 groups: The older Maori who were allowed to speak, The middle group who were punished, and the young who are again allowed to speak. As time passes the groups all age. That is why the over 65 group showed an increase. However the older group is starting to die off, leading to a decline in the total. This is more clearly shown here:

Peter Dey

Posted on 14-07-2016 20:08 | By NotNat

Hinduism is spiritual to the Hindi culture just like baptism is spiritual to baptists. Karakia is spiritual to Maori as is Satan to satanists. There is no rank when what you believe is important to you - Speaking Te Reo Maori is not important to some therefore it will be questioned. News rooms use flash cards to read from - I can read Te Reo fluently does not mean I understand it. NZ history - including Maori culture is a big part of NZ tourism and I’d like to know how many Tourists visit NZ purely because ’they saw we have a cool Maori culture’ can you find facts to support what you are claiming? What is important to you is not important to the next person we need to remember this. Forcing a child to do something usually makes them loose interest.

enforced monoculture?

Posted on 14-07-2016 18:37 | By Darren

Maori kids were punished for speaking maori,deaf kids were punished for using sign language, and left-handed kids were punished for using their left hands. The good old days eh? Why are so many people threatened by diversity?


Posted on 14-07-2016 16:45 | By Kenworthlogger

If learning Maori is good for everything and makes you do everthing better then why dont Maori learn to speak Maori. The stats say most maori cant speak it....

overit, NCEA does not have special help for Maori students

Posted on 14-07-2016 16:09 | By Peter Dey

The NCEA exams are run by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). What students have to do to pass is moderated to be the same for all students at all schools. There are no special favours for Maori students. Over all subjects the students at Mauao Wharekura achieved a higher academic standard in 2015 than the students at the mainstream Tauranga secondary schools.

crazyhorse, you should read Darren more carefully

Posted on 14-07-2016 15:17 | By Peter Dey

crazyhorse does not seem to have read properly what Darren has written. Darren points out that a second language will improve kid’s English, raise their IQ, improve their problem solving skills, and make it easier for them to learn another language when they are older. All good educational stuff. This information is all available and confirmed from reliable sources on the internet. A second language helps students to be better at everything else they study. That is why it is one of the 8 learning areas in the NZ National Curriculum. If all students learn a second language (Maori) right from starting school it makes it easier for them to learn more commercially useful languages later.

Just because

Posted on 14-07-2016 14:57 | By NotNat

we make a class compulsory doesn’t mean we learn anything from it. Science was compulsory all I can remember from that compulsory class was my teacher being a d***head. Lets be realistic. I love Maori culture but to make it compulsory is a bit racist in this day.

Darren, your compromise is what we have now

Posted on 14-07-2016 13:42 | By Peter Dey

Darren, at present the National Curriculum for schools has 8 learning areas. One of these is languages. It is stated that all students should learn two languages. As you point out the language experts support this for all pupils. There are compulsory achievement objectives for 7 of the learning areas but not for languages. It seems that this is because of the practical difficulties in providing teaching of a second language for all pupils. The point we have now reached is that we do not need specialist language teachers to teach Te Reo Maori to junior school students. So if Te Reo Maori was compulsory the teachers we have could do the teaching. There would be bilingual benefits for non-Maori students and Maori students would get the opportunity of on-going Maori language support. It is not a perfect step forward but better than any other option that we have.


Posted on 14-07-2016 13:17 | By overit

Do students in wharekura do better because the pass rate is diluted? It does happen folks Maori do not have to achieve the same pass marks as others.

JAFFA, your kaumatua is mistaken

Posted on 14-07-2016 13:11 | By Peter Dey

JAFFA mentions a kaumatua being concerned about poor English language skills of students in Maori secondary schools (wharekura). This is an easily believed idea but in fact it is totally false. Statistics are available online. The pass-rates from the 2015 NCEA exams for the 10 Tauranga secondary schools show that the local Mauao Wharekura is 3rd best with 91 per cent at level 1, best with 100 per cent at level 2, and 2nd best at 91 per cent at level 3. This is better than all the local State secondary schools and bettered only by Aquinas and Bethlehem Colleges. In fact, as Darren has mentioned, bilingual education improves academic achievement. Students at wharekura achieve better than Maori students at mainstream schools.

chur bro

Posted on 14-07-2016 11:56 | By flyingtoaster

If Maori were truly concerned about preserving their own language, they should be speaking immersively, at home. If Maori wish their own language to vanish into obscurity, they should keep up with, the now very common, hotchpotch of english-maori with a bunch of things like bro or chur thrown in. I believe, to prevent further dilution of the Maori culture, Maori need to stop absorbing and aligning themselves to african-american culture.

Isn't it ironic

Posted on 14-07-2016 11:22 | By mlow

The word ’wiki’ is an invention, based on the English ’week’, yet it is used here to describe a Maori language aspiration. Sure, languages evolve ... they also decline. About time we recognised that.


Posted on 13-07-2016 17:29 | By crazyhorse

You seem to have a real thing with learning languages, great to have a hobby, enjoy it, I hear some people whip themselves, what ever you enjoy go for it just don’t push it down everyone else’s throat, we have children going to university who can barely read and write lets concentrate on the future, their future, having compulsory te reo at school will take even more productive time out of a school day. It’ not up to non maori to keep their language alive, not up to the waitangi tribunal or Willie to tell us we should learn at school!.


Posted on 13-07-2016 15:50 | By Crash test dummies

based on the obvious common thread in the blogs here you are seriously off the mark from reality on this and all related subjects.


Posted on 13-07-2016 08:21 | By Darren

Howabout making a second language compulsory for all school kids? It will improve the kid’s english, raise their IQ, improve their problem solving skills, and make it easier for them to learn another language when they are older. All good educational stuff. BUT let the PARENTS choose what the second language is to be: Sign language, te reo, esperanto, chinese, spanish, swahili, klingon, whatever. Obviously choices would depend on availability of teachers unless the parents organise private lessons. Would that be acceptable to most posters here?


Posted on 12-07-2016 21:42 | By overit

In reply to your reply to my post, so let there be Maori language lessons for those who want it, not a blanket approach to all.


Posted on 12-07-2016 19:31 | By Kenworthlogger

Is only kidding himself. If The Maori language is as important ad he is desperately trying to make out then us intelligent people would be rushing to learn it. Most intelligent people realise in fact it is spoken by a minority of people. Australia has a way bigger tourist industry than NZ and no offical Aboriginal language and is not hampered in any way which proves Dey talks a lot of dribble.


Posted on 12-07-2016 15:17 | By Crash test dummies

I was talking to a Rotorua kamatua (in English mostly) about immersion schools, in his view they should all be shut down as they were seriously handicapping students from finding a job. It was obvious to him that it was essential that the education of Maori kids must be primarily carried out in English as that was the universal language, that was not to say that kids shouldn’t learn Maori in whatever dialect ... but did place an absolute importance in English. He was very concerned about the serious limitations that Fluent Maori and a lack of English provided for the future of IWI kids as a result of this path. This of course is my prime concern also, to achieve in this world English is paramount.

permanent Language

Posted on 12-07-2016 15:12 | By Crash test dummies

Of course learning as a child and then being able to use it during a lifetime is a "Personal" choice not a burden that the taxpayer should have to pay for, after all every other culture in NZ provides the education and learning for their own children and that works far better than any immersion plan or consequences.

overit, That was then. This is now.

Posted on 12-07-2016 13:58 | By Peter Dey

overit mentions Maori parents wanting their children to speak only English at school. That was in the days when Maori parents knew that they could not help their children at home to speak good English. The school did that for them. Now many Maori parents would like their children to speak good Maori and they cannot help them at home. The school should now be doing that for them but it is not.

Kenworthlogger, Maori language is alive and useful here

Posted on 12-07-2016 13:52 | By Peter Dey

Kenworthlogger still seems to think that the only languages that are valuable are overseas languages spoken by a lot of people. He seems to accept now that we need to earn overseas dollars and that Tourism and Maori culture are big earners of overseas dollars. Maori culture survives based on Maori language. Maori is an official language used on formal occasions, so our children when they are adults with Maori partners and Maori children of their own will want those Maori children to have access to their Maori heritage through the Maori language. The fact that Maori is not spoken overseas is irrelevant to the heritage of Maori in New Zealand.


Posted on 12-07-2016 13:00 | By morepork

French is supposed to be the International Language of Diplomacy; Esperanto is a (largely failed, but nobly intended) effort to cross borders and get people talking to each other. But English, as you pointed out, is the de facto international language. As a writer, I have a deep love for the English language and that love was planted when I was very young. (We didn’t have TV, and books were what exposed the World to me.) All over the World you can hear people communicating in English; it isn’t perfect, but it isn’t French, either :-) It always made me smile when walking into Himalayan villages to see laughing children saying "Hello!" and "Bye! Bye!" when you leave. We can’t impose language on people, but every English speaking parent should make sure their kids get books to read.


Posted on 12-07-2016 10:45 | By overit

An elderly friend of mine said when she was at primary school, a Maori woman told the teacher to whack her kids if they spoke Maori.

Childhood language experience lasts permanently

Posted on 12-07-2016 10:31 | By Peter Dey

Language experts tell us that childhood is a time when the ability to learn languages is at its highest. This means that a child who has some experience with Maori may not become fluent at that time but they will be able to become fluent later if they choose. An adult with no childhood experience of Maori language will find it more difficult or even impossible to become a fluent speaker. We would be doing all New Zealanders a favour if we gave them a few hours a week of Maori language experience in school. The latest edition of "The Listener" magazine is saying much the same.


Posted on 12-07-2016 09:43 | By Kenworthlogger

Every country in the world speaks English. Its the world language. You must have lots of spare time on your hands to learn a defunct language. Be grateful you were not FORCED to do it.


Posted on 11-07-2016 23:53 | By Crash test dummies

When voting for MP’s any party vote under 5% is ignored, so applying the same logical and voter approved and legalised system to be fair about it all means that no Peter Te Reo should have dropped off the radar by now.

its not just numbers

Posted on 11-07-2016 22:20 | By Darren

If we want to judge the value of a language by the number of speakers then should we all ditch English and start speaking Chinese or Spanish, because there are more of them than us? I spent 2 years learning to read Koine Greek which was used from 300 BC

@Peter Dey

Posted on 11-07-2016 19:37 | By astex

I am sorry Peter but I have to querey your statement that the Maori language is "unique". From the NZ encyclopedia:"Maori is an eastern Polynesian language. The Maori dialects of Rarotonga, Tahiti, Hawaii, and all the islands of French Polynesia are very closely related to the Maori language spoken in New Zealand". You also hinted at the same for carvings, drawing etc but these also are very similar to those of other pacific areas.

JAFFA, Maori language is indigenous

Posted on 11-07-2016 17:09 | By Peter Dey

JAFFA, Maori language is indigenous to New Zealand. It has no other home. Every other language has a home country somewhere else. It is therefore absolutely not an insult to any other language for New Zealand to support Maori more than any foreign language. Our school system ensures that children learn to speak good English. We do not rely on parents alone for children to learn to speak good English. It is therefore very unfair at the moment that our school system does not provide the same level of support for mainstream students to learn to speak good Maori if their parents cannot help them.

Kenworthlogger, Parliament has made Maori language important

Posted on 11-07-2016 16:59 | By Peter Dey

Kenworthlogger, Parliament has made Maori an official language and it is now used on official occasions. Most intelligent New Zealanders in time will want to know enough Maori to know what is being said in Maori on a formal occasion. We are evolving as a society. Parliament has upgraded the status of Maori language. It is most unlikely that we will change that now because the Maori language has great strength and beauty. It is a genuine treasure. It would not have survived otherwise. Everybody should learn more Maori and enjoy it.


Posted on 11-07-2016 16:57 | By Kenworthlogger

Im sure i have exported enough logs to pay my way. Again nothing to do with anyone else here.

@ Peter

Posted on 11-07-2016 16:46 | By Crash test dummies

It is insulting to all other languages, there is no benefit to all learning Te Reo, all would do a lot better in life to learn English as a first language, perhaps Chinese as a second. Leraning Te Reo is a reasonability of the parents to ensure that their kids learn would they should.

Kenworthlogger, a further thought

Posted on 11-07-2016 16:23 | By Peter Dey

Kenworthlogger, if NZ sold nothing overseas our NZ dollars would be worth nothing overseas. You can only buy stuff with your NZ dollars overseas because somebody else has sold something overseas, Tourism is the biggest earner of overseas dollars, and Maori culture is a core part of our Tourism industry.

Kenworthlogger somebody has to export for your dollars

Posted on 11-07-2016 16:13 | By Peter Dey

Kenworthlogger when you spend money overseas you have to get NZ dollars exchanged into overseas dollars. The overseas dollars that you get have to be earned by some exporter in NZ. Currently Tourism is the largest income earner in our export sector. Maori culture is a large part of the attraction of NZ to tourists. Maori culture is based on people knowing Maori language.


Posted on 11-07-2016 14:30 | By Kenworthlogger

Maori is important to Maori not to NZ. I dont see you learning how to speak any other mainstream language used in NZ by imigrants which is equally important like Mandarin for example. Lots of Asian countries nearby that speak Asian languages which are also spoken here in NZ.


Posted on 11-07-2016 14:16 | By Kenworthlogger

Let me make it clear that any momey that i spend overseas is earnec by ME. No One else earns it for me and to say Maori earn it for me is laughable.

Making Maori compulsory is not disrespect to other cultures

Posted on 11-07-2016 10:38 | By Peter Dey

flyingtoaster suggests that making Maori language compulsory would be disrespectful to other cultures. But Maori is the indigenous language of New Zealand, found nowhere else in the world. Other languages that have a home in other countries are clearly in a different category and should not feel discriminated against.

@ Darren

Posted on 11-07-2016 10:22 | By Crash test dummies

Maybe not useless not certainly surplus

crazyhorse, Maori language is not redundant

Posted on 11-07-2016 10:14 | By Peter Dey

crazyhorse needs to get out more if he thinks seriously that Maori language is redundant. He can listen to Maori language all day and every day on Maori television. There are hundreds of marae all round the country where formal exchanges in Maori take place nearly every weekend.

The Tomahawk Kid, we already have compulsory subjects

Posted on 11-07-2016 09:56 | By Peter Dey

The Tomahawk Kid needs to know that we already have seven compulsory learning areas in the school curriculum with achievement objectives clearly stated and he is not a SLAVE because of this. There is one other learning area, which is languages, which does not have compulsory achievement objectives. This is probably because the Education Department cannot guarantee to provide teachers in other languages for all pupils. However the current National Curriculum from 2007 says that all pupils should learn two languages right through school. As Darren has just pointed out there is a benefit in being bilingual. It is time now for the professional educators, who have agreed that learning a second language is desirable, to take us a step further. Making Maori language compulsory for a few hours every week would achieve that. Students would not be SLAVES. They are not slaves with the present compulsory subjects.


Posted on 11-07-2016 08:39 | By Kenworthlogger

Lets say you teach your kids Swahili. Who are they going to talk to? Similarly with Martian or Te Reo. Who are they going to have these conversations with. They might as well speak bushman. Its of no practical use.

no language is ever useless

Posted on 10-07-2016 22:29 | By Darren

At various times in my life I’ve studied German, Greek, Japanese, and Maori and my native English has benefited from all of them. I’d like to see every child in NZ growing up bilingual. Try googling "bilingual benefits". If a child’s parents already know another language fantastic; encourage it. But if the parents are monolingual then why not have the children learn Maori? I don’t know any Martian Kenworthlogger, but I do know that "bIlughbe


Posted on 10-07-2016 18:45 | By overit

I wonder if Maori did not get all these extra millions of dollars for giving up smoking, health, education, housing, scholarships, blah, blah whether these very pale (pakeha looking) folks would call themselves Maori. They say if you feel Maori, you can call yourself a Maori, so folks jump on the bandwagon of Ngati Beige. Lets start a new tribe.

Thanks to the europeans!

Posted on 10-07-2016 17:37 | By crazyhorse

Te reo Maori is not lost thanks to our European colonial ancestors who recorded it in print. But its usage is now redundant and it’s ridiculous to try and resurrect it, more so given that the 15 per cent of New Zealanders with Maori ancestry are self-evidently not interested in learning it. It’s not part of 85 per cent of New Zealanders’ history and to assert that it should be because in this nation of migrants, the first arrivals were Maori is claptrap. On that basis we should equally insist that all of our women have mokos.

Promoting racial disharmony

Posted on 10-07-2016 17:33 | By crazyhorse

Whenever you hear the word culture used to support a proposition as in compulsory Te Reo, you can be absolutely assured that it’s in lieu of a legitimate argument. Only 4 per cent of New Zealanders have bothered, presumably as a hobby, to learn Maori. The fact that even the Maori King can’t speak it underlines the idiocy of forcing it on our children. In his 2006 book How Language Works, the noted Welsh linguistics professor, David Crystal, observed that linguistic nationalism invariably promoted separatist political demands, causing resentment and an unnecessarily divided community, precisely as what is occurring here.

morepork, thank you for your fair comments

Posted on 10-07-2016 16:20 | By Peter Dey

Thank you morepork. There have been valid objections made. I consider myself told off.

crazyhorse, this is about removing disadvantage

Posted on 10-07-2016 16:08 | By Peter Dey

crazyhorse refers to "race" based funding as though Maori get some additional advantage from this. Maori on average are worse off than Pakeha. Any "race" based funding is justified because it is designed to remove disadvantage that Maori have received from Government bias against Maori in the past. For many years Maori language tuition was not made available in schools to Maori students whose parents could not speak Maori. As honeysam points out it is the schools not parents who make sure that students learn correct English. Students wanting to learn Maori should have the same consideration but they still do not get that in many mainstream schools. Talking about a foot in the door and going back to 1840 is just irrational nonsense.

morepork, tourist dollars rely on Maori culture

Posted on 10-07-2016 15:55 | By Peter Dey

Maori culture is a very important part of what tourists come to New Zealand for. The core curriculum in schools is compulsory because that is what the professionals have decided that all students should know. Nobody objects to the core curriculum being compulsory. Nobody says that they do not want to be forced to do these things. It makes sense to add a small time for Maori language to the core curriculum, because so many fair-minded moderate New Zealanders would appreciate more knowledge of Maori language and that would be the best way for this to happen. As a nation Maori language is a part of what we are. One or two hours a week for all students makes it a workable system. The optional system we have at the moment leaves too many people without a knowledge of Maori language that they would be blessed to have.

What this is really about!.

Posted on 10-07-2016 15:16 | By crazyhorse

Willie, how many millions a year are we already throwing at "race" based funding, and yeah read willies comments, he wants more funding, also if te reo becomes compulsory in schools do we get an hour a week, or is that the "foot in the door" to an education system going backwards to the good old says of 1840, hallelujah I have seen the light.

@Peter Dey

Posted on 10-07-2016 14:38 | By morepork

There are quite a few sensible, non-racist, posters in this thread, who make very good points as to WHY we shouldn’t IMPOSE Maori. It isn’t about tourist dollars; I can’t imagine tourists come here just to hear Maori, even though Maoritanga is interesting and entertaining to non-Maori people. Most people who value Kiwi culture don’t want to see Maori language disappear, but that doesn’t mean we should all be FORCED to learn it. An hour a week? I already do a bit more than that, quite willingly, without being forced to. But I respect the right of others NOT to. Just like all of the Ethnic minorities which are part of our nation, it is the responsibility of MAORI to ensure their language and culture survive. I for one am happy to support that effort (out of respect and being a Kiwi, if nothing else) but NOT by FORCE.

Murray Guy speaks like a community leader

Posted on 10-07-2016 14:36 | By Peter Dey

It is interesting to read the words of Murray Guy knowing he has been a member of our City Council. Murray is supportive of te reo Maori but cautious about how to provide increased support. It is noticeable that all of our community leaders, like Andrew Judd in New Plymouth, when they move out from their community groups of like-minded people and mix with other community groups, become more aware and tolerant. That is why our political leaders have given us the Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty settlements. They became wiser than the inward looking groups that they started from. Many of the writers in this column seem to suffer from talking only to like-minded people. They seem unaware that they and the people they talk to think that their opinions are sensible but they lack the wisdom and tolerance that comes from mixing with other cultures.

JAFFA and crazyhorse, part Maori is a term of insult

Posted on 10-07-2016 14:21 | By Peter Dey

People who use the term part Maori instead of the correct term Maori are choosing to trade abuse rather than take part in objective discussion. Anybody of Maori descent is legally correctly described as Maori. Maori do not use the term part Maori about themselves. The use of the term part Maori by non-Maori is therefore a choice to be abusive by describing a racial group with a word that they do not want to be used about themselves. They know that they have joint Maori and Pakeha ancestry. It is their choice what they choose to emphasise. The use of the term part Maori is an attempt to smear the legitimate claims that Maori have to their ancestry, their culture and their indigenous status in New Zealand.

flying toaster, we just need more support from non-Maori

Posted on 10-07-2016 14:00 | By Peter Dey

It is pleasing that flying toaster recognises that Maori language is a beautiful thing. It is understandable that there is a drop in support for Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Maori. Initially it would have been hoped that these would have brought a miracle increase in educational success and Maori language speakers. However it seems that Wharekura (secondary schools) are growing in strength and educational success for students. Non-Maori are all the time being put into occasions when Maori is spoken. Over half of our local rugby clubs are Maori based. At after match functions there are always formalities in Maori. Surely any intelligent non-Maori would want to have more of an idea about what is going on. An hour or two of compulsory Maori every week through school would be a blessing for most moderate fair-minded non-Maori.

Kenworthlogger, Maori language has value to New Zealand

Posted on 10-07-2016 13:31 | By Peter Dey

Kenworthlogger a large part of the money you spend buying stuff from overseas is earned by Maori people and their culture. It is unique in the world. That is one of the reasons for tourists to visit here. It is one of the reasons for us to help Maori language and culture to survive. Nobody is saying that we should learn Maori language to trade with other countries. Maori language and culture is unique to New Zealand. Our haka on sports fields is unique and we are proud of it. As a country if we want to avoid the bitter and destructive racial and cultural conflict that we see in other countries then being tolerant toward Maori language and culture is going to make us a more friendly society that even more tourists will want to visit.

overit, different cultures have different spirituality

Posted on 10-07-2016 11:30 | By Peter Dey

Overit questions the way Maori culture operates spiritually. New Zealand has thousands of Christian churches. Our Parliament starts with a prayer. But people everywhere do not have the same devotion to their religion, and people do not everywhere have the same religious beliefs. Religion and karakia is a much bigger part of Maori culture than prayer is in Pakeha culture. Maori spirituality is possibly closer to Hindu spirituality than to Pakeha spirituality but we do not disparage Hinduism. India has 1.3 billion people. Maori spirituality is probably more like the rest of the world than Pakeha spirituality.


Posted on 10-07-2016 11:22 | By Kenworthlogger

You might as well learn martian. No one else in this world speaks that either.....

Morepork, good contribution but there is more to the issue

Posted on 10-07-2016 11:19 | By Peter Dey

Tourism is now New Zealand’s largest earner of overseas income. Maori culture, carving, music and performance are all unique to New Zealand. They earn us tourist dollars. It is economic sense for us to make sure that Maori culture continues to live. Maori language is an essential part of the Maori culture package that brings in the Tourist dollars. Quite true that we do not need Maori language for trade but a few hours a week for all students to be more familiar with Maori would provide very worthwhile support for what is now our biggest overseas income earner. How come all these people are knocking Maori language when it is one of the foundations for all the dollars they need to buy stuff from overseas?

By me again seems to be pretending

Posted on 10-07-2016 10:57 | By Peter Dey

By Me again claims to be able to speak Maori but wonders if Willie Jackson can speak fluent Maori. It seems like By Me again is just pretending to be a speaker of Maori opposed to making Maori compulsory in school. If By Me again could really speak Maori they would have heard Willie Jackson speaking fluent Maori on Maori TV. He is a regular commentator speaking in Maori.


Posted on 10-07-2016 10:42 | By overit

And thats another thing-yes its use at formal functions.All this blessing of stuff, what is that all about? Maori openings at functions. I saw a blessing once in a prison, a group of about 8 went around the new wing touching every wall in the cells.Then commenced to sit down to a huge "feed" gratis on the Dept. of Corrections. Why did Maori bless the new IRD building in Wellington years ago? etc, etc. Please explain.

crazyhorse, more nonsense

Posted on 10-07-2016 10:37 | By Peter Dey

crazyhorse claims that Willie Jackson can speak only a few words of Maori, and that Willie said myself that he is not fluent. Crazyhorse either heard wrong or is making up his claim. Willie regularly speaks fluent Maori on Maori television so crazyhorse has just added another nonsense claim to his list.

Murray Guy talks a lot of sense

Posted on 09-07-2016 23:19 | By Peter Dey

Murray says that we should talk about making sign language compulsory. Everybody should have a basic understanding of both sign language and Maori language. That does not mean that everybody should spend enough time to be fluent in these languages. One hour a week would be a vast improvement on what school pupils spend now. People getting worked up about compulsory Maori seem to assume that pupils would be spending enormous lengths of time on learning Maori. That is not what compulsory means. Compulsory means everybody gets it. How much they get is a separate issue. There is so much Maori now used on formal occasions that everybody should know enough to be comfortable. They do not need to be fluent speakers. People objecting to one hour a week of compulsory Maori need to rethink their beliefs.

overit, gymn equipment had no English names in the 1800's

Posted on 09-07-2016 22:15 | By Peter Dey

overit needs to rethink has comment about things having no Maori name in the 1800’s. Everything that has been invented since the 1800’s has had English names invented. Inventing Maori names is no different.


Posted on 09-07-2016 21:22 | By crazyhorse

k.mcleod, I think you will find like everything else the treaty troughing industry’s race based Waitangi tribunal came up with the "myth" that maori language is a treasure to "us all"!,it’s obvious even part maori don’t believe that lol.

Te reo Maori

Posted on 09-07-2016 20:42 | By crazyhorse

Like every thing else it’s now up to the other 85% of K1W1 to keep the maori language alive, part maori aren’t interested, the figures show it, they are ’not interested!’, and no it’s not our responsibility, how pathetic is this going to get, a ""pet"" pakeha allocated to speak it for "them".


Posted on 09-07-2016 19:21 | By overit

I am so glad Maori language week is almost over-the news and weather have been messed about with. I sympathise with any tourist trying to work out what weather is coming. I was so amused to see a group of young Maori taken to a Gym to create Maori names for the equipment.Durr it never existed in the 1800’s so how can it have a Maori name.Watch more nonsense unfold as they make up names for more European creations.Laughable.


Posted on 09-07-2016 16:41 | By k.mcleod

The enormous amounts of money spent by this government supporting the dying Maori language needs to be revised immediately.Many foreign immigrants in NZ teach their own children their own language without any government help financially.Just because the Treaty of Waitangi recognises that the Maori language is a "treasure" does not mean the NZ taxpayer should continue to be endlessly flogged for money to support something which has no longer any relevance to today’s needs. The strident demands made by some Maori for their language to be made compulsory, reflect their own unwillingness to help themselves.It is in the strongest interests of all NZers to have their(includes ALL the many ethnic groups)children taught the languages of the countries with whom NZ is a business partner. This is the way of the very near future.With Maori complaining about their language’s slow demise they could support their own language from Treaty assets


Posted on 09-07-2016 15:42 | By crazyhorse

Willie Jackson makes his living from "looking backwards", along with is fellow treaty trougher John Tamihere. Here Willie is telling us the importance of learning the maori language, by the way that was written by white settlers,well until "lately". How many people reading this "order" from Willie to make Te reo "compulsory" know that he can’t speak maori, no he cannot, maybe a few words, but nothing else, how do I know?, he has admitted it, wouldn’t you think a man in his position, and with the "love" he has for his culture he’d learn?, probably to many boards to sit on, a man of his "importance" needs to spread it around, sorry I mean spread himself around.

Te reo

Posted on 09-07-2016 12:42 | By Kenworthlogger

What a useless language to learn. Who else speaks it in the world. You may as well learn to speak martian.

Browing of Population?

Posted on 09-07-2016 12:05 | By morepork

This made me smile. (I always thought that browning was something you do to gravy...) On that logic, we should enforce other Ethnic languages also. End result: the browned, yellowed, blackened, and whitened Kiwi population will be multicultural, but Te Reo will still be an "unimportant" language, with no practical application or benefit to people. We SHOULD embrace Te Reo and at least be able to pronounce it, just as we should embrace Maoritanga generally, as part of Kiwi culture, but you cannot and should not enforce that.

I'm ashamed...

Posted on 09-07-2016 11:49 | By morepork

...that, having lived overseas for many years, I speak French, German, and Spanish, with a reasonable degree of fluency, but I don’t speak Te Reo. As a Kiwi, I believe Maoritanga (which has the language as its foundation) is an important part of my culture and I would not want to see it disappear. I am making an effort, but it is unlikely I’ll become fluent in Te Reo. Why is that? Because, unlike the other languages noted above, there is no direct benefit for me in learning it. If I want to live, work, and conduct business in Europe, it is advantageous to speak the languages and understand the culture; no such benefits accrue from learning Te Reo. It is of "academic interest" like Latin and Classical Greek. Making it compulsory in schools would be disastrous; just as we don’t enforce Latin and Greek.It should be an option.


Posted on 08-07-2016 16:20 | By carpedeum

Dont be absolutley stupid.!! Currenlyt only 4% of people in NZ speak Maori and only 15% of NZ population classify themselves as Maori anyway- My old neighbours are Bulgarian and Croatian. Their children speak perfect English AS WELL AS Bulgarian, Croation and Greek-ALL TAUGHT AT HOME . Maori is of no use whatsoever to anyone else i- so thats who should be teaching it to their own children. DONT waste PRECIOUS Education dollars - focus on what will prepare children to make their way in the REAL WORLD - how to read and write English plus maths.

My children - not yours

Posted on 08-07-2016 13:11 | By The Tomahawk Kid

I don

number eight

Posted on 08-07-2016 07:08 | By surfsup

Don’t waste your breath on trying to talk sense to these idiots.Again anything Maori and the same clowns come out to play. A typical reaction to any comments that are made against Maori, the expectation is that we all wring our hands, dress in sackcloth and beat ourselves.The simple facts are that Maori constanly look to blame others for any problems they have, if the language is so important then teach it to their children and take responsibility .

@ Number eight

Posted on 07-07-2016 22:00 | By Captain Sensible

Yeah, that’s right...everyone who has a different opinion to you must be a racist eh? Maybe the freedom of choice is more important as I would feel the same way about having anything rammed down my throat.


Posted on 07-07-2016 19:03 | By Number eight

Don’t waste your breath on trying to talk sense to these idiots.Again anything Maori and the same clowns come out to play.


Posted on 07-07-2016 18:11 | By Me again

I’m Maori and I don’t want to LEARN MAORI, is he going to shoot me.Okay I do speak Maori But I do not think that it should be shoved down our throats. Teach our own first, and believe me there are lot out there who can not, will not and do not want to learn. I wonder if Mr Willie Jackson can speak fluent Maori?? Nice Maori name he’s got. No J C S and L in the Maori alphabet.

Re Honeysam

Posted on 07-07-2016 17:07 | By Jitter

One of his/her blogs is right on the button. Children should be taught to read,write and speak English first. Tertiary education organisations in NZ are still finding that many of their new students cannot speak, read or write English to even an average standard which is down to the standard of education these people are receiving in primary and secondary schools. Why ? Because many teachers have the same deficiency. I have nothing against the Maori language being taught in schools as long as it is an optional and not a compulsory subject like French, German etc. By making Maori compulsory ends up with less time being spent on essential core subjects subjects by students. Willie Jackson is way off beam with this as it would cause a rebellion if made compulsory.

I Missed The Broadcast

Posted on 07-07-2016 16:59 | By R1Squid

Was it in English? - Lost cause and opportunity. Too bad.


Posted on 07-07-2016 16:47 | By overit

34.6 million was allocated in the budget to save Te Reo. Tell the whanau living in cars that.

The Tomohawk...

Posted on 07-07-2016 16:11 | By Jimmy Ehu

is onto it, as one of the few "skinny little white boy’s" in Ruatoria during the 60s and having a Father who taught himself the Maori language as an act of respect for his clients, the Maori culture should be respected and treasured, not degraded by the word compulsory!!!, get over yourself Willy.

@ honeysam

Posted on 07-07-2016 15:23 | By Captain Sensible

Are you seriously suggesting that maori is equal to english? I know in todays PC world, we can’t say anything is better than anything else....all are winners etc, but.... english is infinitely more useful than maori. BTW there are Asians and Eurpeans and South Americans and Africans living in NZ who pass on their native language to their children....with no help from the taxpayer.

Irish Maori

Posted on 07-07-2016 15:15 | By CC8

An amusing story on TV last night about an Irish girl who had "learned" Maori, on her own in Ireland,spoken with an Irish accent. She had been bought to NZ as "an ambassodor" by the very organisation which chastises other Kiwis for NOT pronouncing Maori correctly...according to their standards.

Te Reo P?keh?

Posted on 07-07-2016 15:04 | By flyingtoaster

There is no additional funding for Te Reo P?keh? immersion schools or teachers

Te reo Maori funding

Posted on 07-07-2016 15:01 | By flyingtoaster

Kura Kaupapa M?ori receive additional funding to help them develop and maintain their Te Reo M?ori immersion environment. An immersion leveling system is the mechanism used to calculate the funding. Kura are at level 1. This means that the language of instruction, the principal language used the teachers, Te Reo M?ori in the classroom must be from 81% to 100%. It is common for teachers to not speak any English to their children at kura. An additional salary allowance (MITA - M?ori Immersion Teacher allowance) is also paid to full-time teachers who teach at Level 1.

@ flying toaster

Posted on 07-07-2016 14:59 | By Gigilo

Those are not negative responses you are reading it is rejection by the majority of this absurd idea. However I would support compulsory teaching of sign language. The two fingered salute, or maybe the thumbs down, to be PC, would suit this occasion admirably.

kohanga reo and te kura kaupapa

Posted on 07-07-2016 14:50 | By Crash test dummies

Obviously with 5% of the NZ population that can converse in Te Reo and that it is dropping reflects the usefulness of it. Both socially and economically the need is dropping rapidly, It is a lost cause, all language nests and all of that need to be changed to mandarin and then the level of achievement of part Maori can be lifted a bit.


Posted on 07-07-2016 14:30 | By Crash test dummies

Te Reo is a novelty item only, that only applies to a few around the world. English is the 2-3rd most commonly spoken language, the obvious second language to learn would be Chinese as that is in fact the most commonly spoken language in the world. What else is not understood here, the most useful language in he world is not Te Reo, in fact it does not even appear on the list of the 10,000 most common. I would then have to estimate that perhaps 100,000 people, almost all in NZ have learned, know and use Te Reo, the most common users would be in education. making it compulsory just defies belief.


Posted on 07-07-2016 14:21 | By Colleen Spiro

I laughed out loud at your statement.....NO WONDER WARS START. Maori are very tolerant people when racism is alive and well in NZ AND no wars.for decades lol....SUNLIVE you are guaranteed comments from the ignorant, when you run a story regarding Te Reo Maori.


Posted on 07-07-2016 14:08 | By flyingtoaster

Yes it is sad to read so many negative responses. What I find more interesting, is, the lack of positive responses.

Why blame everyone else?

Posted on 07-07-2016 13:56 | By Rayna Stephens

The are many state funded Maori schools. There have been many treaty settlements of millions which could encourage Maori to learn their own language. Why make it compulsory for others?

captain sensible

Posted on 07-07-2016 13:37 | By honeysam

Have you read the research on how many English speaking kids, with English speaking parents, going to our predominant English speaking schools, who cant read and write English well. Taxpayers pay for English in schools, it’s not parents teaching them how to read and write English.

yah nah

Posted on 07-07-2016 13:25 | By Darth Vader NZ

Sign language is used and recognised around the world it is even in a small window on TV over seas, often there is someone signing behind a speaker. Sign language isn’t even taken seriously here in New Zealand and now maori needs to be compulsory where it will be spoken all over the ... ohhh thats right just here in New Zealand yeah nah

It's about an open mind

Posted on 07-07-2016 13:20 | By honeysam

It is a shame to read so many negative responses. It is sad to see such closed mindedness.Te Reo is not just words. It doesn’t matter if it is used in business overseas, or in jobs, I had to learn algebra, science and about the American revolution - I don’t use that in my business life. Te Reo is a taonga, a gift, and unique to NZ. Being a NZer means I embrace all this beautiful country has to offer, and respect and an open mind means I see true value in learning the rich, expressive native language of NZ. Ka nui tenei.

Dream on Willie

Posted on 07-07-2016 13:11 | By penguin

If the percentage of Maori who can hold a conversation in te reo Maori has dropped, it’s not the fault of others. It is a fair and square reflection of what most Maori want and cannot be blamed on anyone else. It will not be improved by making the learning of te reo Maori compulsory. Willie is living on another planet. We have 3 ’official’ languages in NZ and free choice as to which one we choose to use and reflecting practicality. Forcing te reo on to the country where English is the predominant language will cause resentment and engender a racist environment. And I have yet to hear many Maori pronouncing te reo Maori "correctly." Many non Maori do a far better job!

time to pull the plug

Posted on 07-07-2016 12:43 | By Captain Sensible

It’s up to the parents to pass languages on, NOT the taxpayer! It has been propped up on taxpayer funded life support for years now. Time to pull the plug.

Happy to learn Te Reo

Posted on 07-07-2016 12:38 | By The Tomahawk Kid

I am all for learning Te Reo, and I would like my children to learn it - contrary to what some say here, I believe it would be a good thing for more of us to know how to speak it (my personal opinion of course) However, I am AGAINST making it compulsory. What does compulsory MEAN? It means people are FORCED to do something against their wishes. The definition of being forced to do something against your wishes is that you are a SLAVE. I have no time or respect for anybody who wishes to destroy my rights and make me a slave. If Willie Jackson wants to fight for something really important, try peoples RIGHTS - he will need to take a crash course in learning what those words mean though, as at present he has no idea.

Mr ken

Posted on 07-07-2016 11:02 | By pamken

what a waste of school time, make it an after school learning, then see how many turn up,more maori being thrust upon us 85%, it will do no good when they go out in the real world.

Sign Language first

Posted on 07-07-2016 10:53 | By Murray.Guy

Sign language is ’officially recognised’ and warrants consideration in our education curriculums. I, with reservations, support basic ’Maori language and culture’ education, clearly a significant component of who we are as a nation of New Zealanders. Need to be clearly defined parameters to avoid being captured by a few hell bent on constant revisions of reality.

NO thank you.

Posted on 07-07-2016 10:29 | By Mackka

Heaven forbid if it ever is made compulsory!! ’You can lead a horse to drink but you can’t make it drink!’ Don’t want to learn it - then don’t!


Posted on 07-07-2016 10:17 | By NR

If the door opens for compulsory Te Reo, where will it stop? I mean this "trying to preserve Maori Culture". Next step will be only allowing full Maori to procreate with other full Maori to increase numbers. Its no wonder wars start.

Priorities Please

Posted on 07-07-2016 10:00 | By Disappointed

It being Maori language week we should naturally expect such one-sided and extreme opinions. If Willie Jackson truly wants to be the great redeemer surely he would do better to direct his energy towards improving the disproportionate incidence of domestic violence, child abuse, and incarceration of Maori in 21st Century society.

Maori first

Posted on 07-07-2016 09:56 | By flyingtoaster

Maori, should embrace their own culture and language. Its theirs, not mine. I would hazard to guess that less than 10% of Maori could hold a conversation in te reo.

Kohanga Reo

Posted on 07-07-2016 09:41 | By flyingtoaster

One needs to wonder, why, the number of students, in total immersion programs are dwindlng? It seems to me, that ever-fewer parents, are seeing educational benefits in Te Reo.

optional not compulsory

Posted on 07-07-2016 09:03 | By flyingtoaster

Te Reo Maori is a cultural treasure. It would be a shame for the language to fade into obscurity. Making Te Reo Maori compulsory, however, shows no respect for the other cultures, that are part of who we are, as New Zealanders. Should we also make Urdu, Mandarin, Hindi and Spanish compulsory? This should be a choice people make, not forced upon us.

dead horse

Posted on 07-07-2016 08:54 | By Captain Sensible

Nobody cares. Let it die if there’s not enough interest. Too much tax dollars have been wasted flogging this dead horse.


Posted on 07-07-2016 07:52 | By dumbkof2

when someoneone can convince me that there is any benefit to be held anywhere else in the world to speak mayori then i might learn. i am stil trying to find outer roa kitikiti toopoo and numerous other places in nz

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