It is Maori Language Week. As is usual, the mainstream media are sniffily showing their undying support by changing banners and putting up stories of no interest to anyone else, but show their caring cultural side.
No one is raising the terrible spectre of Maori imprisonment rates that continue to remain high despite a huge focus on things Maori in all levels of government. It seems that Maori TV, Maori Language Week, special privileges and funding for being Maori or speaking Maori or make work schemes for older Maori where they get to chase away taniwha and evil spirits isn’t stopping the Maori crime or the Maori child abuse.
One other thing that isn’t going away is the expectation that the government fund and care for something that not even their own people care for.
One of our foremost Māori language experts will warn this week that the language will die unless the nation makes a renewed commitment to save it.
Dr Timoti Karetu, who was the first Māori Language Commissioner from 1987-99, will speak out in an inaugural State of Te Reo Māori address on Thursday marking the 40th anniversary of the first Māori Language Week which coincided with Dame Whina Cooper’s historic Māori land march in 1975.
“There is an apathy and a torpor pervading the whole of the Māori world, and the language is its victim,” Dr Karetu told the Herald. Read more »