Te Reo Maori And English Integration Agenda: Perspectives

A couple of great and very perceptive but contrasting perspectives on the current agenda to integrate Te Reo with the English language in New Zealand-Aotearoa, plus my own comments. MH.

When is Te Reo Maori not Te Reo & Rednecks Are Right – If But For The Wrong Reasons.

by Ben Vidgen

We never ask ourselves too many questions
Too much truth in introspection
Maintain the regimentation and avoid self-degradation
We act out all the stereo types, try to use them as decoy
And we become shining examples
Of the system we set out to destroy
‘Cause even in the most radical groups you will find
That when you stray from the doctrine, you’ll see hard times
What will we do to become famous and dandy
— Just like Amos and Andy
 The Disposal Heroes of Hip-hopcrisy.

The red neck farmer, whose protest sign is picture above, represent a certainly click of dinosaurs who happen to be right if but for the wrong reasons. The issue is not that we should be more familiar and fluent in the beautiful and harmonic tongue that is Te Reo and I will be taking steps myself shortly to get some lessons for my self and in respect of my niece who honours my clan in that her blood line anchors my family to New Zealand’s first nation and make my own connection to NZ seven generation that much deeper. The issue however is threefold;

One: My fear is that many different dialect and histories of multiple iwi and hapu will be assimilated into one big ‘Maori’ tounge that promote a narrative of whakapapa that serves one or two iwi at a cost of many others. I am genuinely curious is this dialect used in the treaty if not what would the legal repercussions be.
It comes as Maori TV is moving it charter away from being a TV channel for Maori and is now to dopt an editorial promoting Pasifika and corporate media Te Reo Maori is not just about promoting Te Reo but rather it process which seek to assimilate all Polynesian culture in accordance with the objective of the Pacific reset a term used describe the US military and corporate expansion into the Pacific in the 21st century as the US begins to focus on the regions merging energy resources.

There a reason why the US Embassy has being so keen to push iwinomics ( which can be defined as Rogernomics but with a ‘Maori’ face on it) using such initatives as Whaine Tora (Powerful women) to groom and shape female leadership as voices for an iwi vision which luckily fits perfectly with the USA own vision for Pasifka in the emerging future.

Two: New Zealand is not Aotearoa. In the Treaty of Waitangi Aoteroa not mentioned Na Niu Tirene (the actual legal Maori name for New Zealand) is. Its no small point that Aotearoa not mentioned once in either the English or Maori version of founding document. Only the wording Na Niu Tirene are mentioned.

Stuff’s, ‘Aotearoa: What’s in a name’, confirms “The origins of Aotearoa are obscure” and credits George Grey’s Polynesian Mythology, 1855 (written 15 years after the treaty) with the first written use of the term when he recounted the legends of Maui, saying that the “greater part of his descendants remained in Hawaiki, but a few of them came here to Aotearoa… (or in these islands)”. The legend’s of Maui

Stuff continued “But there are now long recognised problems with accepting at face value early European interpolations of tribal ‘traditions’. So many traditions were generalised and homogenised and even fictionalised for Western consumption by nineteenth century interpreters of the Māori world such as George Grey”.

And yet this myth continues today and worse is being used to promote a whakapapa of questionable historic accuracy (now our official history) is continued in Sir Peter Buck (Te Rangi Hiroa) Vikings of the sun and fits a narrative of so called Maori customs and social values which again just gets accepted at face value.

For none of these sources, when you take the time to read them, actually document their claims or provide tohunga hītori. That is a record of the whakapapa of the oral historians telling the tale whose job was to pass such tales from generation to generation. Traditionally there names should be told before the retelling of such stories as record of proof as was and is the custom. And yet none exist for the tales upon which we base our official history and record the paramount status of our iwis and hapu.

Three; The name Te Reo Maori it self sucks.

Why not just Te Reo which means Maori. Something is either Te Reo. Or its not. To Call it Maori {Te Reo} Maori seems like its just trying to hard to convince us this is the one sole source of authority. I don’t know about you but when people tell me they alone are the only person to be trusted I get nervous. Something does not quite seem right here. The adding of the word Maori linguistically once again reeks of Greyism taking all the differing tribes with their differing accounts of migration and ethnic characteristics and smashing them into a one size fits all box. Something Grey did for his convenience and certainly not out off respect of the Maori’s unique and varying diversity. Which in fact was an utter pain in the bum for Grey and those wanting the natural resources of New Zealand.

The Maori got call Maori as it was all part of the colonial habit of only wanting to deal with one chief and the colonial conquers need for hierarchy. Tools of power which accentuated control and made the task of ruling the colonies and their indigenous people so much simpler. Never mind that was the past and were slowly but surely leaving the empire and will soon be a republic and be independent and free.

Right?

This leads to the issue of the 2013 Constitutional Review which personnel wise had many cross over links to those of the flag panel. Collectively the panel was 90% white, 5 Chinese Ngai Tahu, 20% Maori. Of Maori representation 100% was made up tribes whose Iwi begun in Taranaki (Ngai Tahu – Tainui) of which 75% was Ngai Tahu.

Marama Broughton’s paper to the Māori Law Review symposium on the Treaty of Waitangi and the constitution12 June 2013 notes a constitution must includes a hapū, whānau, iwi and Crown relationship and yet this is excludes from the Constitutional review (which) also left out reference to the Magna Carta the founding document of western democracy and international law. Article 29 reinforce the rights of all “NO freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his freehold, or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will we not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or right”. The wording of article 29, which is in New Zealand law, is precise. For its purpose is to accentuates that las and right must not just be legal but lawful. This goes to the heart of the Magana Carta charter which differs from other founding historical documents of western democracy in thats it stress law are not just about what legal but that laws and government must also be based on good governing, be fair and be based on equality for all.

The 2021 Corporate editorial (which is always shaped by what’s good for the share holders) for this year in New Zealand has clearly being about promoting Maori rights in fact it boomed of Te Reo Maori “It is a basic human right. Rangatiratanga is “of Māori, by Māori, for Māori.”

The problem how is the corporate media and the so called woke middle class are bunch of morally bankrupt racist and while they can speak ‘Maori’ they clearly don’t get the meaning and purpose behind Te Reo. “Rangatiratanga 1 : a Maori chief : a Maori of rank, authority, or distinction. 2 New Zealand : a leading citizen : magistrate”...READ THE REST

Te Reoglish: the Negation of New Zealand English

In the name of saving from extinction the Maori language (te reo Maori or simply te reo), New Zealand authorities have embarked on a unique project, breathtaking in its scope and ambition: to demote, hybridise or replace NZ English, the first language of the vast majority of the country, as best they can.  

New Zealanders are being led to believe that only way to revitalise the one language is via a full-frontal assault on the other.

The Policy

In 2019, following the passing of the Maori Language Act of 2016, the Maori Language Commission produced the Maihi Karuna (The Crown Strategy for Maori Language Revitalisation 2019-2023).  The  purpose of the Strategy is to ‘protect and promote the Maori language’.  However the text boasts of a ‘bold vision […] different from others that have come before it’. There are three ‘audacious goals’, the first of which is that people actually have to embrace the project with enthusiasm (or else?).

  1. ‘By 2040, 85 per cent of New Zealanders (or more) will value te reo Māori as a key element of national identity’
  2. ‘By 2040, one million New Zealanders (or more) will have the ability and confidence to talk about at least basic things in te reo Māori’
  3. By 2040, 150,000 Māori aged 15 and over will use te reo Māori as much as English

The idea, apparently, is to create a bilingual country. 

‘when you travel internationally, you realise how common, and normal multi-lingual communities are. And if you are like me, you think how awesome it would be if more people spoke te reo Māori in Aotearoa and we were a truly bilingual country. (Nanaia Mahuta, p.5)

But not as other countries know the term, ie providing texts, signage and education opportunities in more than one language.   The aim is to impose Te Reo on the whole populace, willy-nilly.

‘Kia māhorahora te reo – Every day, by everyone, every way, everywhere […] te reo Māori is a normal part of daily life for wider Aotearoa New Zealand where te reo is used by everyone, every day, every way and everywhere.’

It will not be possible to work in the broader public service, consisting of around 2,900 organisations and employing 404,000 people, without being able to speak Maori.

‘In order for the Crown to recognise the value of the Māori language, and to deliver quality services
to Māori communities, it needs to ensure the public sector can “speak’”the language itself. By doing
so, it will have both a direct and indirect impact on language revitalisation. .

The strategies for achieving the goals include:

  • Insisting on ‘correct’ pronunciation of words of Maori derivation, while assuming that words from English should be adapted to Maori phonology and spelling;
  • Replacement: replacing English words with Maori words which are not usual in the context; dotting texts with terms that are completely unknown to non-speakers of Maori;
  • Insisting that all naming be in Maori, whether it be urban spaces, libraries or policies;
  • Consciously using government texts on unrelated matters as a tool for language instruction
  • Bribing the mainstream media to apply the above strategies.

‘Correct pronunciation’

Arguably the process of conscious Te Reofication started in 1979 when Victoria University linguistics lecturer Harry Orsman published his Heinemann New Zealand Dictionary. There is a time-honoured practice of adapting foreign borrowings to the phonology, cadences, spelling of the receiving language: everything from sine die to champagne to the numerous examples from English borrowed into Maori.  However Orsman  chose to cross the line from descriptive to prescriptive linguistics when he decided that the original Maori pronunciation (to the extent that it is agreed) should be preferred to common Kiwi usage.  New Zealanders who had never known any pronunciation for the kakapo bird other than /kakəˌpoʊ/ (kackerpoe), found that the ‘real’ New Zealand pronunciation was /ka:ka:pɔ:/ (kahkahpaw).  In his note on Maori words and pronunciation, Orsman argued disingenuously that:

‘[…] the trend in New Zealander is towards the use of formal Maori pronunciation rather than uninformed [sic] anglicization.  Thus what may at first appear an anomaly is in fact in keeping with the standard approach to pronunciation in this dictionary – common usage’

This anti-intuitive policy does not apply to English words borrowed into Maori, which are automatically adapted to that language.

Language replacement

Following the move to ‘correct pronunciation’, official policy has made other linguistic concessions to the sensibilities of Maori radicals: saying Maori instead of Maoris, establishing Kia Ora (probably a neologism) as a formal greeting to introduce speeches and correspondence, saying te Reo instead of Maori (language).  However since the release of  policies to implement the 2016 Act, the pace of change has accelerated dramatically.  Wellington City Council produced its own policy in 2018, with a stated vision of ‘Wellington: A te reo capital city by 2040’.  And they’re serious.  Compare Wellington City Council’s home page of 2020, with the current page.

Note that many of these concepts are expressed in Maori with vocabulary borrowed from English, though now just about unrecognisable as they have been adapted to Maori phonology and spelling (as you would expect).

Naming

Every public institution (and many private), every policy, every concept, every public space is given a Maori name which should there actually be an English name, takes precedence.  Government departments are given Maori names which are increasingly used on their own without translation:  The Ministry of Transport is routinely referred to as simply Waka Kotahi; the Climate Change Commission is He Pou a Rangi. The Maori Language Commission is now Te Taurawhiri, and the URL for its language policy is  https://www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz/en/te-reo-maori/maihi-karauna/. 

The Biodiversity Strategy of the Department of Conservation (DOC) is now Te Mana o te Taiao: 

The strategic framework for Te Mana o te Taiao sets out how the different components of the strategy work together to achieve the long-term vision of Te Mauri Hikahika o te Taiao.

No meaning is offered for Te Mana o te Taiao; that of Te Mauri Hikahika o te Taiao is given in a box.  The vast majority of New Zealanders would not be able to explain the meaning of  the names being imposed on them.

The Wellington City Council’s Maori language policy is called Te Tauihu;  Wellington City Council committees have been given Maori names, which councillors are expected to use in preference to the English ones.  Civic Square is now Te Ngakau Civic Precinct while the Wellington Public Library has been renamed the mouthful Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui – it looks like every library in Wellington will have a Maori name which takes precedence over or replaces an existing English name.  Subject headings within new libraries naturally give greater precedence to the Maori version.

NZ cities have been given Maori names, which increasingly replace the traditional ones, with no discussion.

Wanganui or Whanganui is a town in the central North Island, but Te Whanganui-a-Tara seems to be a recently coined term for for Wellington.  Wellington’s DomPost recently published an article in its travel pages which appeared to refer to an (obscure) attraction in or near New Plymouth, but it gradually becomes clear that the subject of the title is actually the city itself. 

We can expect increasing pressure to change the names of small towns.  Currently there is a proposal to change the name of the town of Maxwell to Pakaraka, on the basis of a disputed claim that its namesake, George Maxwell, was involved in a massacre.  

Replacing English terms with the Maori equivalent

It goes without saying that NZ English has borrowed words from Maori (so let’s get that of the way), most notably native flora and fauna, as well as many place names.  However it is now policy to artificially insert into English texts Maori vocabulary, even whole phrases.  Words which have already been borrowed into English though not in common usage (being mostly used in a Maori context) are now mandatory, for example the word whanau must replace the word for family in every context, e.g the track and trace notice for Covid-19.  Government texts and media articles are sprinkled with terms which are completely unfamiliar to the majority of New Zealanders, sometimes explained, sometimes not.  A goal expressed in the language revitalisation strategy, ‘Te reo Maori is seen, read, heard by Aotearoa Whaanui’, uses a term, whaanui, which has probably never before appeared within an English text…READ THE REST


Martin comments: Its great to see open opinion and discussion taking place on this topic, as there seems to be both a dramatic increase in the hybridisation of Te Reo and English in the media and the inevitable pushback from the no-longer-silent majority.

My opinon? New Zealand is multi-cultural, NOT bi-cultural. “European” is itself a sweeping term for many countries, languages and cultures, and Asian, African, North and South American and Middle-Eastern cultures are all well-represented in New Zealand. Do we embrace ALL those languages in the name of “equity”?

I get very weary of the “who was here first” pissing contest. The majority of New Zealanders speak English as either a first or second language, and it is that language with which most overseas contacts communicate with us. Therefore sheer practicality dictates which language should be primary, and hybridising that language simply creates confusion.

One might even suspect someone has this confusion of languages in mind as a subversive plot?

In summary: Te Reo Maori is uniquely New Zealand and as such ought to preserved and used by those who desire to do so, just as Welsh, Cornish and Gaelic are preserved and used in British localities for instance. Preservation and usage of Te Reo I agree with absolutely. Hybridisation of English with Te Reo, clearly, I oppose.

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Martin Harris

I have a lovely partner and 3 very active youngsters. We live in the earthquake ravaged Eastern Suburbs of Christchurch, New Zealand. I began commenting/posting on Uncensored back in early 2012 looking for discussion and answers on the cause and agendas relating to our quakes. I have always maintained an interest in ancient mysteries, UFOs, hidden agendas, geoengineering and secret societies and keep a close eye on current world events. Since 2013 I have been an active member of theCONTrail.com community, being granted admin status and publishing many blogs and discussion threads. At this time I'm now helping out with admin and moderation duties here at Uncensored where my online "life" began.

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