I am always perplexed by threads like this. Coming from Europe, I don’t understand why it is even an issue.
In Europe, there are many languages and cultures that cross national boundaries. Although there have been ethnic conflicts at different times and places, and recent immigration is causing new concerns, many countries recognise the value of minority languages and cultures and try to respect and even encourage them.
I like to travel and I enjoy the differences I encounter. I like experiencing the different ways people live, and I like learning the different words they use for things. I would hate to live in a world where everything is exactly the same. I would hate to live in a gated community occupied only by Don Brash’s. What a dreary, boring place that would be!
In Holland, nearly everything on TV and in the cinema is subtitled. This is because Holland is a small country (like New Zealand) and most media content is in other languages. When I first came to New Zealand I missed that. I was used to reading along with whatever I was hearing, even if I understood it.
Language and culture are an essential component of identity. Maori are part of New Zealand. They have every right to want to use their language and customs on the national stage. Why shouldn’t they? We would all be enriched by it.
Personally, I think the Maori language should be much more prominent here than it is. I don’t understand why all non-Maori programming on all television channels is not subtitled in Te Reo, and all Maori programming is not also in English. This makes a lot more sense than the Maori ghettos currently on TV and it wouldn’t kill some of the rednecks in this country to pick up a few Maori phrases. Who knows? They might even enjoy the experience of learning something new!
I can only do a +1 on your comment. Needs to be more. I am a while kiwi male. My late in law uncle was a son of the one of the last pure Maori. My third daughter is 1/32 Maori, she embraces it. I am a 100% while kiwi male, Scottish heritage, what does Maori mean to me? Well, as a kid racism did not exist. Maybe it did , but I was a kid and us kids were kids, so it didnt.
Sadly, we are a non racist country, as thats the law, but we are.
Brickbat to NZ