Maori te reo – language a treasure and Crown responsibility

“When the question for decision is whether te reo Maori is a ‘taonga’ which the Crown is obliged to recognise we conclude that there can be only one answer. It is plain that the language is an essential part of the culture and must be regarded as ‘a valued possession’. The claim itself illustrates that fact, and the wide representation from all corners of Maoridom in support of it underlines and emphasises the point.”

Report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the Te Reo Māori Claim

The Tribunal recommended that:

* legislation be introduced enabling any person who wishes to do so to use the Maori language in all courts of law and in any dealings with Government departments, local authorities and other public bodies;
* a supervising body be established by statute to supervise and foster the use of the Maori language;
* an inquiry be instituted into the way Maori children are educated to ensure that all children who wish to learn Maori be able to do so from an early age and with financial support from the State;
* broadcasting policy be formulated in regard to the obligation of the Crown to recognise and protect the Maori language;
* and amendments be made to make provision for bilinguism in Maori and in English as a prerequisite for any positions of employment deemed necessary by the State Services Commission.

The Tribunal did not recommend that te reo Maori be a compulsory subject in schools, nor that all official documents be published in both English and Maori at that time, ‘for we think it more profitable to promote the language than to impose it’.

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See als Dompost story:

“The findings and recommendations are provisional. Submissions can be made until November 25. ”