“Create your own pepeha to celebrate te wiki o te reo movement.”
Given that estimates range between about 4% and 11 % of New Zealanders who can speak what is today claimed as te reo — the Maori language — such obscure phraseology and the constant substitution of largely reinvented, supposedly Maori words to replace English is not only unintelligent: it is basically discourteous. It is also inauthentic.
In what has become a form of cultural bullying, today’s te reo is now heavily promoted by our far-left government. Equally unintelligible greetings, and long, introductory sentences are apparently now compulsory for all government speakers and spoken media to use when introducing programmes. Public employees, including doctors and hospital staff, are expected to send greetings and sign off, not in English, but in today’s quasi-Maori. Even the Television One weather presenter recently gabbled a lengthy introduction — or perhaps even a summary (who would know?) –– delivering an unintelligible weather forecast later reverting to what may, or may not, have been a translation. It was an egregious display of virtue-signalling for Maori language week.
However, it is apparently always now Maori language week — except that what is being produced is not the genuine Maori language at all. Approximately 85% of te reo, far from authentic, is reinvented. How does one say the Ministry of Social Welfare, or Accident and Emergency Departments, or even public hospital in genuine Maori? The book “Dirty Silence” an aggressive-sounding title, contains highly politicised essays arising from the University of Waikato Winter Lecture Series of 1990, including those by prominent neo-Marxists, viewing the promotion of the Maori language as predominantly part of a power struggle against “the imposition of the English language”. It presaged what is now an increasing move to replace English with Maori.
Languages have always borrowed from other languages -– as with the French, in spite of General de Gaulle’s fierce opposition and his intent to keep the language pure, with an official list in 1962. But le football and le weekend crept in. Nevertheless, the gradual, inevitable assimilation of new words is substantially different from inventing many thousands of synthetic creations in an attempt to achieve not only parity in language use, but even the relegation of English to second place.
The Maori language has stayed far from pure — with, in every areas of our lives, so many thousands of English words hastily given inauthentic Maori equivalents — words which never existed. Little wonder that a decade or so ago elderly Maori were complaining they did not understand what was now claimed to be their own language.
The missionaries, who two hundred years gave Maori the first valuable written record of their language, reproduced fewer than 20,000 words, obviously sufficient for a pre-agricultural, pre-industrial people basically engaged in subsistence living with no need for a larger, expanding vocabulary. The arrival of the colonists, enlarging their horizons, introducing new technology, scientific discoveries, and all the benefits of a far advanced society, brought with them the world’s most useful international language with today an approximate 170,000 words in current use.
So what is happening? How did a necessarily highly limited, although interesting language with no more than 20,000 words, if that, become one of the official languages of the country? Arguably it should never have happened – as a result of extremist pressure – as the lexicon of the original language was not sufficient for the complexities of twentieth century living. The solution, to attempt to match those approximately 170,000 much-needed English words, was seized upon — to coin supposedly Maori equivalents.
The list goes on. What about Inland Revenue, airport control tower, public libraries, university scholarships, banking facilities, return economy air tickets to Dubai or even apply online for your medical appointment What about fridges, deep freezes, microwaves, computers, laptops, cell phones, four-wheel-drives, trucks, tractors, hatchbacks, sedans… Or hotels, international travel, political appointees, city councils, parliament – let alone Kentucky fried chicken –– and the supposed Maori terms for the rich variety of foods and drinks never available over those two hundred years ago. The height of absurdity? Mate Corona – the supposed Maori equivalent for Covid-19.
That the minority Maori party — (which the majority of today’s part-Maori do not support) — is pressuring parliament to change the country’s official and traditional name to Aotearoa is no surprise. It is part of the constant attention-seeking actions that groups with a sense of special entitlement embark on pushing the boundaries even further, once compromises are already made in line with the policies of appeasement.
New Zealand’s democracy is under attack today, the country virtually ruled by a radicalised Prime Minister. Moreover, the push to remove our world-recognised name, to replace it with Aotearoa, is backed by Ardern, constantly using this term. Every government department has now apparently been instructed to follow suit with a parallel push to Maorify the names of all our cities, towns and other places. However, hoist by their own petard, the radicalised Maori party states it is well past time that Maori was restored to its rightful place as “the first official language of this country”, with the claim “We are a Polynesian country. We are Aotearoa.” But the 20, 000-word language of pre-European Maori is another issue entirely.
Two separate polls have overwhelmingly rejected the government’s use of the word Aotearoa instead of our traditional name. Probably the majority of New Zealanders would agree with National party MP Stuart Smith that this supposed substitute for the name of our country should be removed on all official documents. It is hardly a surprise that it was John Key’s National government that put Aotearoa on our passports in 2011without any consultation at all with the public at large. The same Prime Minister surreptitiously sent Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples off to the UN to sign The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, taking care not to let even the media know – which has had disastrous outcomes for this country, even although Maori were not indigenous. The Reserve Bank chose to add Aotearoa to banknotes in 2015. Why? That it appeared on both our currency and our passports without any public consultation, nor mandate, was an insult to the public at large.
New Zealanders are understandably upset at what is now being seen as a Maori supremacy movement in this country, assisted by Prime Minister Ardern with her He Puapua proposals, not only moving towards co-governance but even granting superior rights to those of Maori descent – no matter how tenuous – over the majority of New Zealanders. Inevitably, corruption is the result, and a case comes to mind recently of a woman by far predominantly European, with as little as 1/32nd of Maori genetic inheritance, enrolling her daughter as Maori, as she envisages the preferential rights and funding her daughter will receive.
Many New Zealanders now wish they could leave this country, with immigrants wishing they hadn’t come. As one individual put it, “In 60 years of being able to vote, I have not seen a government doing so much in an undemocratic way. This is not the country we have lived in long and happily. “
Worse than the claim even that this newly coined language is authentic is the enormous waste of time demanded from school pupils and teachers, with the move to make today’s pseudo-Maori compulsory in an already crowded curriculum. While there is an urgent need for young New Zealanders to be taught a second language which will benefit them in today’s global world, nowhere else in the world is this reinvented Maori spoken.
Not only is it arguably a waste of their valuable time, but, as has been pointed out, New Zealand children are in desperate need to learn correct English, with the thorough teaching of grammar and syntax long removed from the curriculum. And while it is entirely reasonable that those of Maori descent would like to see this language preserved, to claim that today’s te reo is the authentic language of their ancestors is clearly untrue. It is now as much an artificial construct as Esperanto – the latter originally designed to promote world peace.
English is the most commonly spoken second language in the world. Moreover, when everybody speaks a common language, this crosses the boundaries of race and cultural values, promoting a sense of national cohesion. Given that all of today’s part-Maori share other ancestry, predominantly European, the fact that an extraordinary intellectual heritage has also been passed down to them is never emphasised. One has to ask why.
There is an urgent need to replace the now Marxist Ministry of Education, bent on forcing compliance with its politicised edicts, with a system removed from the dominance and dumbing down of the Left, and to replace it with a body answerable to the genuine needs of children and their parents.
Every year, allocating of scores of millions of taxpayers’ dollars during Maori language week in an attempt to enforce this basically inauthentic reinvention on all our institutions takes much-needed funding from essential areas, such as health funding. For example, to the government’s shame, Starship, our leading Children’s Hospital, is so cash-strapped that it has to appeal to the public for funds as do other much-needed organisations like St John’s Ambulance.
Moreover, we know that funding diverted to promote divisiveness and separatism in our country suits well these wedded to an ideology aiming to destroy Western democracies rather than encouraging of social cohesion and assimilation. The enemy is not at our walls – it has long tunnelled under.
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