Ministers Maori Language Strategy Is Wrong
|11 Jul 2014 14:54 PM|
WIILIE JACKSON OPINION
It seems unbelievable that the Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples is intent on returning the leadership of the Maori language back to the tribes.
Of course history tells us that nothing could be further from the truth. Most tribes have not been supportive of Maori language programmes, in fact probably the most respected Maori language tutor in the country Professor Timoti Karetu said, “Why would you return the language leadership to those who let it die”. He is right on the mark, the most ironic part of Minister Sharples plan is that he himself played a major part in the Maori language renaissance but in the city. He did that because his tribe was just not interested in any reo revitalization and as Professor Karetu says “Left the language to die”. Yet here he is now giving back the leadership to people who have no right to be fronting it.
The Maori language renaissance was born in the cities, at Marae like Hoani Waititi, and at Kohanga Reo in Auckland and Wellington. So much is owed to the people who led that, who were without doubt proud tribal people but who chose to make their lives in the city. Pita Sharples was a leader in that movement that’s why it’s so disappointing watching him roll out this policy known as Te Mātāwaia. I know he is well intentioned, he is a good man and has been a great front person for his Maori Party.
However this policy is an affront to his constituents, he is the MP for Maori in Auckland, not for the Hawkes Bay or East Coast.
Sadly Minister Sharples looks like he now is part of the government’s plans.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd