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Tags: Te Reo

E32A Māori News week ending 13 September 2019

Parliamentary Matters

  • On Tuesday the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill was introduced in Parliament. This Bill provides for financial redress of $8.1 million, the return of 14 sites of cultural significance, a cultural revitalisation fund, and five commercial properties.

http://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-hinerangi/

  • On Thursday the first reading of Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana / Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill, was completed in Parliament. This Bill recognises and addresses the crimes against the Tūhoe prophet, Rua Kēnana, and his community of Maungapōhatu. In 1916 Rua was arrested and charged with sedition, and although he was found not guilty, he was still imprisoned for over eighteen months for resisting arrest.  A statutory pardon is being considered.

Appointments and Awards

  • Antoine Coffin (Ngaiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Raukawa) has been appointed to the Resource Management Review Panel. The panel will advise Government on the Resource Management Act and matters concerning freshwater, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances.
  • Topia Rameka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) has been appointed as the inaugural Deputy Chief Executive – Māori for Ara Poutama Aotearoa – Department of Corrections.
  • Hayden Wano (Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Awa) has been appointed to and named chair of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • Dr Julie Wharewera-Mika (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tuhoe, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) has been appointed a member of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • On Wednesday the Prime Ministers’ Education Excellence Awards were held in Wellington. Award winners included Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa, Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, 2019 Focus Prize.

General News Items

  • This week Snap Reo, an online micro Te Reo learning programme, was launched. Snap Reo is funded by Te Māngai Pāho.
  • This week the Financial Markets Authority and Institute of Directors published ‘Ngā Mea Waiwai o te Tūranga Whakataka’ a Te Reo version of ‘The Essentials of Being a Director’. The resource is a guidebook for directors, and Traci Haupapa, Chair of the Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA), notes it shows an increased commitment to diversity and inclusivity from the Authority. https://www.fma.govt.nz/assets/Guidance/IoD-FMA-Director-Essentials-in-Maori.pdf
  • On Tuesday the Government conjointly released ‘Every Life Matters, Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019 – 2029’ and an ‘Action Plan 2019 – 2024’. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Minister for Health, Dr David Clark, also announced that a designated Suicide Prevention Office will be established along with the establishment of a Māori Advisory group and Lived Experience group. This is a significant announcement as the Māori suicide rate is 28.2 per 100,000 tangata compared to the New Zealand overall rate of 13.9 per 100,000 people.
  • On Thursday Prime Minister Ardern and Minister Clark also released the draft terms of reference for the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. The Commission will provide independent scrutiny of the Government’s progress in improving New Zealand’s mental health and wellbeing, promote collaboration between entities that contribute to mental health and wellbeing, and develop advice and a framework for the permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
  • On Thursday Prime Minister Ardern also announced that the National School Curriculum is to be updated to make explicit the expectation of content taught within the New Zealand’s history curriculum. The changes will take effect for all schools and kura, years 1 – 10, in early 2022. Currently the National Curriculum enables schools and kura to decide how New Zealand history is covered. It is expected that the new curriculum will cover the following topics:
    • arrival of Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand;
    • first encounters and early colonial history;
    • Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi and its history;
    • colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars;
    • evolving national identity of Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
    • Aotearoa New Zealand’s role in the Pacific; and
    • Aotearoa New Zealand in the late 20th century and evolution of a national identity with cultural plurality.
  • This week Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust opened a show home for the trust’s Te Puna Wai Papakāinga Housing Project, in Wainuiomata. Te Puna Wai is a mixed tenure housing development that will be completed over two stages.  The trust has received from Te Puni Kōkiri a $2.6 million investment grant to support infrastructure costs for 23 housing sites, and the construction of 11 kaumātua rental homes. The trust plans to build 80 dwellings in total.
  • This week the Ministry for the Environment commenced a series of public consultation and feedback hui on freshwater issues, productive land, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances management. Consultation for the various issues closes late September to mid-October 2019. Dates and locations for upcoming Māori specific hui are listed in the table below.
Date Location Time Venue
16 September Blenheim 10:30am – 1:30pm Scenic Hotel
17 September Tauranga 9.00am – 12.00pm Hotel Armitage
18 September Greymouth 12.00pm – 3.00pm Ashley Hotel
18 September Whakatāne 9.00am – 12.00pm Manukatutahi Marae
19 September Rotorua 12:00pm – 3:00pm Te Ao Marama
23 September Gisborne 11:30am – 2:30pm Emerald Hotel
24 September Wairoa 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed
24 September Hamilton 11.00am – 2.00pm Hamilton Gardens Pavillion
25 September Napier 1.00pm – 4.00pm East Pier Hotel
25 September Auckland 12:30pm – 3:30pm Potters Park Events Centre
26 September Whangarei 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed
27 September Kaitaia 10:30am – 1:30pm To be confirmed

Te Reo Māori Policy Discussions

Last year a round of debates started on the value and place of the Māori language in New Zealand, particularly after the widespread use by mainstream media of Māori language words and phrases during Māori language week in September. (For example the weather map on Television One was shown with Māori place names).  The debate reached a low point in early December, with Don Brash stating that Te Reo had no place in mainstream media, and was of no interest to most people, and Māori should essentially go away and speak Te Reo on their own.  Following on from that, this month Professor Paul Moon from Auckland University of Technology released a book that is said to claim, amongst other things, that compulsory Māori language in schools will negatively affect the language: and then the Leader of the Opposition, Bill English, was reported as saying “you can’t rely on a Government and a bureaucracy to save someone else’s language”.   For each of these items a peer rebuke has been issued: Kim Hill taking on Don Brash, Professor Pou Temara and also Hēmi Kelly taking on Professor Moon, and former Māori Party candidate Rāhui Papa taking on Bill English.

Accordingly, later this month we will provide an extended and specific briefing on the nature of these types of Māori language debates, and on the actual health of the Māori language.  First, however, our assessment of these three individual (white males) comments is as follows.

  • Don Brash is now the leader of ‘Hobson’s Choice’ – a lobby group that believes Māori are being given unwarranted group rights in New Zealand, and that should be stopped. In our view Mr Brash’s comments on Te Reo present as ideologically inconsistent with his core political views – i.e. his focus solely on acknowledging individual rights should mean people can speak Māori wherever and whenever they please, as their individual right should not be suppressed by the group demands of others (i.e. the people like him who ‘don’t want to hear’ Te Reo).  Given Mr Brash is highly articulate and well educated he is most likely to be aware of this inconsistency.  Accordingly, perhaps he has tapped into the Te Reo debate primarily as a means to extend his audience and promote his lobbying entity and its causes; which at present is focused on seeking to have any local government decisions to have a Māori ward overturned.  (They are campaigning in Whakatāne presently.)  The 2 December Radio NZ debate between Mr Brash and Ms Hill however is a firey exchange worth listening to (in part at least) particularly given its polite yet impolite format.
  • Professor Moon is a professor of history and not an academic in areas such as linguistics, socio-linguistics, or language revitalisation theory. Nor is he proficient in Te Reo, so his (lack of) creditability to publish in this area is noteworthy.  His newly released book is called Killing Te Reo Māori: An Indigenous Language Facing Extinction, and has now been reviewed by Hēmi Kelly, a Te Reo educator at the same university.[1]  Mr Kelly essentially finds Professor Moon’s work to inflate the negatives in language learning and revitalisation, ignoring the positives, and fundamentally wrong in its conclusions around Te Reo being more at risk than previously.  In our view  Professor Moon’s press release extracts used to promote this work are strongly worded negative statements, without academic research in support, and thus present as designed solely to attract attention and facilitate book sales.  We would recommend people read both the blurb and the review by Mr Kelly before purchasing this item.  Mr Kelly’s comments are freely available here:

https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/25-01-2018/a-te-reo-Māori-teacher-reads-killing-te-reo-by-paul-moon/

  • Whilst we opine that Mr Brash and Professor Moon are, at least to a degree, deliberately seeking media sensationalism around Te Reo for their own personal causes, Mr English’s comments appear to be of a different ilk. What he actually said was more comprehensive than people may have grasped, namely:

the Government has some obligations through the Treaty. It’s met them in my view. We’ve spent a lot of money on TV, on resources for schools and so on. Probably a bit more can be done with resources for schools and teachers, but in the end it needs people who want to speak it … the owners of it need to speak it and that is people in their households. You can’t rely on a Government and a bureaucracy to save someone else’s language”.

  • In this statement, we consider Mr English has got it right in stating that Government is doing the type of activities it should to support the Māori language – although he missed out that many services (such as Māori radio and television) arose out of obligation, not care, and often developed off the back of litigation and protest by Māori. He has also downplayed the quality (or not) of service implementation by Government.  Is it possible some services are weak, e.g. is there sufficient Māori language teacher training available?  These are shortcomings, but his basic message that the Government is undertaking a reasonable range of action to support Te Reo Māori is correct, as is his thinking that Māori people speaking more Te Reo is essential too.  But where Mr English erred gravely was with the three word phrase “someone else’s language” – as if Māori are not part of real New Zealand society, or included in Government processes.  That was a mistake, but we suspect simply ‘poor English by English’ (sic) rather than a political statement against the Māori language, as it has subsequently been portrayed.

Overall we note this type of dialogue is occurring on a regular basis in the mainstream media now, and it gives rise to some obvious policy questions, such as: (a) what is the actual health of the Māori language – is it okay or not; and (b) are the right interventions to enhance Te Reo in place, and do they work?  As advised, we are undertaking a detailed assessment on these matters which will be provided later this month.

[Subscribers should also note we consider there is an ongoing confusion around Māori language words and phrases within English – i.e. should all schools teach some Te Reo to ensure improved pronunciation and better Māori cultural knowledge, versus increasing the use of Te Reo as the primary means of communication within Māori whānau households and communities.  This means media commentators are quite often talking about two quite different concepts within this debate, which adds some confusion.] 

[1] Subscribers will note we only review material freely available in the public domain so that sources can be reviewed directly.

General matters Appointments and Honours and Māori news stories for the week ending 25 January 2013

General matters Appointments and Honours

• Robin Hapi has been appointed to the board of Callaghan Innovation – the new Government ‘Advanced Technology Institute’ (ATI).

• Last week we advised 2013 New Year’s Honours’ list recipients for ‘Service to Māori’.   The Honours’ list also contained some other Māori for services in differing areas.  We have identified the following people:

  • Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) o Turoa Royal, for services to education.
  • Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) o Peter Broughton (aka Rāwiri Paratene), for services to film, television and theatre.
  • Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) o Lisa Carrington; for services to kayaking

Māori news stories for the week ending 25 January 2013

• Last weekend a blessing ceremony was held at Scott Base, Antarctica, for a two-metre pou erected at the Base.  The carved pou was gifted from Ngāi Tahu.

• The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) in collaboration with the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori, Victoria University, are hosting a series of three web-based seminars on Māori mental health and Māori suicide, viewed from an indigenous perspective.  The first seminar will be held on 29 January.  [Note, as we advised last year, Māori have the highest suicide rates in New Zealand, 16 per 100,000 (which is circa 100 people each year).  The Māori youth suicide rate is 35 per 100,000.  It is figures such as these that highlight the importance of improving services to people, especially young Māori, who are vulnerable to self-harm.]

• This week the National Urban Maori Authority (NUMA) Chairperson, Willie Jackson, signalled NUMA’s interest in operating a national Maori radio station service.  Presently there are radio frequencies set aside for a national Māori radio service which have never been used, as Māori radio stations are regional.  Mr Jackson’s view is that a national service will complement, not compete against, regional Māori radio stations.

• John Cocks, from the University of Waikato, has developed a Māori Macron Restoration Service.  This (free) software package automatically adds macrons to Māori text.  It is available on http://www.greenstone.org/macron-restoration-service/jsp/servlet/DirectInput

• This week Tauranga Moana iwi expressed their concern about elevated levels of contaminates been found close to the wreck of the Rena.  The Rena grounded on Astrolabe reef in October 2011.

• Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa iwi have placed a rāhui on part of the Wairarapa coast line following the disappearance of a recreational fisherman.    The rāhui will remain until mid-February.

Māori news stories for the week ending 29 June 2012

  • Sir Eddie Durie and Maanu Paul have been appointed co-chairs of the New Zealand Māori Council.  Sir Graham Latimer becomes the first president of the organisation.  The Council has also indicated that it is the only legislatively-enabled, pan-Māori organisation – and should be a natural choice for Crown-Māori dialogue.  (We presume that this is in response to increased Crown dialogue with the Iwi Chairs Forum.)
  • On Monday William Rātahi Pitman, former National President of the 28 (Māori) Battalion Association passed away, aged 94 years.
  • On Monday Major Hone Hikitia Te Rangi Waititi, company commander of the 28th Māori Battalion passed away, aged 91 years.
  • Greg McManus has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Waitangi National Trust.  Mr McManus will commence his role in August.
  • Rea Wikaira has been appointed to the Health Promotion Agency board.  The Health Promotion Agency will bring together the functions of the Alcohol Liquor Advisory Council, the Health Sponsorship Council, and some health promotion work of the Ministry of Health. The new agency will be established on 1 July.
  • On Thursday the Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust legal challenge against the Ministry of Social Development decision to terminate their Family Start programme commenced in the Auckland High Court.
  • On Wednesday Statistics NZ launched Te Ao Mārama, 2012, an online-publication showing economic, social, cultural, and environmental statistics on Māori.
  • From Sunday Māori Television will introduce a new programming format where Te Reo tuition programmes will broadcast from 10am-3pm.