Rich and ignorant | The Jackal

14 Aug 2012

Rich and ignorant

On Sunday, the NZ Herald reported:

The Treaty priests are forever teasing and torturing the 176 Maori words that make up the three articles of the Treaty. They are greatly assisted by the Maori language being both very limited and obsolete.

Today, the NZ Herald reports:

There's been a sharp decline in language standards in recent decades, which ought to be a matter for concern. Yet ironically, it's coincided with a growing romanticising about redundant languages, illustrated in New Zealand by the waste promoting Maori.

This is not journalism, this is ranting by a couple of old white bigots! It may be that te reo is not spoken in the limited circles Rodney Hide and Bob Jones move in, however it is far from obsolete.

The Māori language has been widely used across a broad range of things in New Zealand with approximately 157,000 people who can converse in what is now an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand. However many more are able to understand the language, and I think that's what Hide and Jones are complaining about the most. Their ignorance at not knowing the names of places, flora and fauna must be a terrible burden indeed.

In fact with most government departments, agencies, offices and public libraries displaying bilingual signs, it must be a horrendous existence for stupid racist people when they are continually confronted with our multiculturalism every time they walk out the door... How sad for them.

Far from being limited, the Māori language is forever evolving as people seek to express new ideas. Māori has word-forming devices for creating new abstract words at will, and modern Māori that has been taught in universities since 1993 can be used to speak or write about anything at all.

The limited government funding to promote and develop te reo Māori ($3.2 million in baseline funding for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori annually) has been continually outstripped by demand from those wanting to learn the language, which is a taonga guaranteed to Māori by the Treaty of Waitangi.

Clearly those who believe te reo is overfunded, limited or obsolete are ignorant of reality.