People who are opposed to te reo Māori are part of a minority that is growing smaller every day the Māori Language Commission said as it announced the dates for this year’s Māori Language Week.
“While some New Zealanders remain bitterly opposed to change, the reality is they are a minority that is growing smaller by the day,” said Māori Language Commissioner, Professor Rawinia Higgins.
“Last year New Zealanders created the biggest te reo event in history as one fifth of our entire population, more than 1 million of us, stopped and celebrated te reo as part of our Māori Language Moment.
Commissioner Higgins confirmed the dates for this year’s Māori Language Week would be from the 13th to the 19th September 2021. This year marks 49 years since the Māori Language petition calling for te reo to be taught in our schools was presented to parliament.
The past fortnight has seen public and private sector leaders support te reo publicly: from Vodafone CEO Jason Paris, media outlet NZME, the BSA, Broadcasting Standards Association and the Media Council.
“Our Colmar Brunton polling last December showed us that more than 8 in 10 New Zealanders see te reo as part of their national identity and something to be proud of.”
“We welcome the response from business and government leaders to those who would seek to once again, banish our country’s first language.”
She said it is puzzling that opponents fail to recognise that te reo brings New Zealanders together in a peaceful way.
“We are not perfect but when you compare us to other countries that struggle with race relations, we are doing better than we have in the past and te reo is part of that change.”
Kia kaha te reo Māori!
Kia kaha hoki ngā iwi o Aotearoa!