Compulsory te reo in school?

October 22nd, 2010 at 9:14 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

New Zealand’s largest education union says Maori should be compulsory in all schools to ensure it’s kept alive.

After the release of a Waitangi Tribunal report calling for urgent action to turn around a decline in te reo, the New Zealand Educational Institute said it was everyone’s responsibility to ensure the language survived.

Yeah, this is definitely so important it must be compulsory. Now of course we hear from teachers there is already too much curriculum to teach in too few hours, so another subject will have to be dropped to make way.

How about maths? I think counting is way over-rated and who needs to know how to multiply 12×12 when you have Excel anyway.

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166 Responses to “Compulsory te reo in school?”

  1. freedom101 (439 comments) says:

    So what do parents think? Has the union asked them? Who do the unions think they represent? It’s normal to ask the customer what they think, but I guess this is a government-sponsored monopoly so this is what happens. I say give parents vouchers and then let union teachers set up schools themselves offering or not offering different subject mixes.

    Then teachers would be much more in touch with their market and customers rather than the ideological burbs of their union reps.

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  2. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Once again a tax payer funded elite proves how out of touch they are with mainstream New Zealand.

    Maoris have proved they don’t give a shit,so why should the tax payer?

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  3. MIKMS (163 comments) says:

    They are making a fuss over nothing, the language will survive as long as people are willing to speak. The fact is 9/10 politicians will start and end their speeches with a formal greeting and of course we are just casually forgetting that Maori has little practical use outside NZ unless you are a part of the cultural office at an embassy or needing to interprete between 18th century polynesian and tahitian :P

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  4. Crumble (61 comments) says:

    The biggest problem is finding enough Te Reo teachers.

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  5. insider (990 comments) says:

    Only problem is there are not enough speakers to provide a big enough pool of qualified teachers. Not unless they want to reduce teaching qualifications or standards that is…

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  6. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    fuck no

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  7. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,667 comments) says:

    MIKMS

    Tell me, who speaks Polynesion? Is there any such language?

    I’m aware of Samoan, Fijian, Tongan, Niuean, Cook Island Maori but I’ve not yet heard anyone speaking Polynesian.

    Is it something like that northern hemisphere language ‘European’? You know, the one used in France, German, Italy and Spain?

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  8. YesWeDid (1,002 comments) says:

    It’s an official language so what is the problem with it being ‘compulsory’?

    Anyway what is meant by ‘compulsory’? Compulsory that it is being taught to every student or compulsory that every school offers it as an option to students?

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  9. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    Sigh. The governemtn could spend a billion doallars and it wont change anything. How much has been sunk into maori language in the last twenty years? Tens of millions of education dollars and there are probably less speakers of the lanaguage now than twenty years ago.

    No amount of money will change anything. It requires people to WANT TO LEARN it, speak it and use it. You cannot force people to speak any language. I tried with my own kids, spending a whole heap of money and time getting them years of Italian language lessons to keep them in touch with part of their culture. They liked the parmiggiano but passed on the parle italiano. They did not want to learn it.

    Same goes for Maori. It is their responsibility to keep their language alive if they want it alive. If teenage kids prefer rap over reo then whose problem is that and how does taking more of my money help the situation?

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  10. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Interesting how particular ideologies surface seeking power. Check out the Psychological Society
    http://www.shore.ac.nz/projects/PsychologicalSocietyKeynote.pdf

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  11. 3-coil (1,184 comments) says:

    I’ve heard enough Maori language lately to know that this is not a good idea.

    “White motherf*ckers” and “fat little redneck”, and other well used examples of te reo, are not going to help any schoolkids get ahead in the world.

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  12. MT_Tinman (2,790 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t we start teaching the little bastards English first?

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  13. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Compulsory Te Reo comes with an opportunity cost (e.g Mandarin) and since they talk about “my language” and “without my language who am I?” maybe some of us could learn Gaellic (or what ever it was the left knee down spoke).

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  14. Crumble (61 comments) says:

    @Adolf Kind of like that Asian language

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  15. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Defund public education. Once a good idea, it has been destroyed and is now merely used as a device to socially engineer rather than educate. As for forced language studies, these self serving racist scum have driven a big enough wedge already into this country’s social harmony.

    That we are in these austere times even funding people to come up with these kind of reports is a disgraceful waste of taxpayer resources.

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  16. queenstfarmer (696 comments) says:

    Only about a quarter of young Maori (under 30) themselves speak te reo Maori[1]. How many Maori who leave to live in Australia each year will continue to speak the language? How many of their kids? If the vast majority of Maori themselves are not interested in their own language, then why should it be forced on non-Maori? But promoting the language is fine, and I personally think people should learn a bit of the language (yes I took it school for a year).

    [1] http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/cultural-identity/maori-language-speakers.html

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  17. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    DPF – Excel can calculate 12×12, while there is electrickery. Without it – doesn’t work so well.

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  18. Caleb (465 comments) says:

    How about some standards in English and communication skills before we throw in a second language.

    Maybe a txt version of the maori language….

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  19. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    ..and who needs to know how to multiply 12×12 when you have Excel

    Hang on. First we need to blacklist Microsoft until they offer Excel in a form which respects Maori culture. At the moment if you put a number in a cell it just stays there. We need a version in Te Reo which automatically takes away from the cells with bigger numbers and transfers to the oppressed cells.

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  20. theodoresteel (90 comments) says:

    I always thought te Reo was compulsory… maybe that was just my primary school

    They could always put it in under English… both being official NZ languages.
    Or they could take some of the time they spend teaching students (very badly) about the Treaty of Waitangi, and use that for Te Reo instead.

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  21. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    I would prefer to learn Latin.

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  22. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,667 comments) says:

    Rodders, I’d prefer to eat baked beans.

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  23. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Would tend to agree with Redbaiter. The government monopoly on education means that we have these Wellington elites prescribing what everyone learns. Some communities with large Maori populations, such as Gisborne and South Auckland may well want to make Te Reo an essential part of the curriculum.

    Some communities and some schools — such as Auckland Grammar — may not.

    I would like to see more private schools, more support for local community initiatives and less government prescription all-round. Let communities decide what they want to be taught at school rather than Wellington always telling them what’s good for them!

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  24. Offshore_Kiwi (557 comments) says:

    Red, why do you do it to yourself? The trolls who live here (not everyone, so don’t all jump down my throat, but there is a very good reason this place is called Farrar’s Troll Farm) think privately provided education is anathema to learning. What they mean, of course, is that they would be unable to guarantee the indoctrination of their subjects with their *special* brand of communism.

    MT_Tinman I agree. The little buggers should learn something useful (such as English and Maths, followed by Mandarin) before they waste their time on a dead language that continues to exist only because the liberal elite have had it on life support via government intervention for the past 2 decades.

    theodoresteel, I always thought it was too. In 1977 when I was a wee lad at Windy Ridge Primary in Glenfield, Jafatown, Maori lessons were definitely given by a Mr Toby Rikihana, at least twice a week. And he made sure the kids sat still and learned, too, via the effective use (IIRC) of a swingball racquet!

    The real issue here is that the liberal elite will never allow the steps which need to be taken: privatise education, stop race-based funding and disband the Waitangi Tribunal. Turkeys never vote for an early Christmas.

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  25. the bird is the word (69 comments) says:

    Perhaps there’s a “decline in Te Reo” because it is so outdated and no one wants to learn it…

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  26. the bird is the word (69 comments) says:

    @ Yeswedid

    “It’s an official language so what is the problem with it being ‘compulsory’?”

    So is Sign Language. Should we all be made to learn that?

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  27. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The real issue here is that the liberal elite will never allow the steps which need to be taken: privatise education, stop race-based funding and disband the Waitangi Tribunal. Turkeys never vote for an early Christmas.”

    Of course they won’t vote for it, but see the comment I just posted on GD. Its all coming to a sad end very soon. Half a million bureaucrats fired in the UK a couple of days ago.

    NO MONEY.

    Get off your lazy racist arses and get out and PRODUCE SOMETHING you damn country destroying parasites.

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  28. MIKMS (163 comments) says:

    @Adolf

    From what my various pacific based histories lying around say, many of the languages of the area now known as polynesia were fair equivocal to one another, the traits can still be seen in particular words today that are common to all.

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  29. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    One of the sad failures of our educational system is that most New Zealanders can only speak English, with a second language generally being limited to those who move to NZ. Traditionally this has not really been an issue, but in an increasingly global world it isn’t particularly a good look, and it is a limiting factor. One of the key reasons for this is that languages only become an option in third form, and generally the options are limited and are only taught as a minor subject (i.e. less classes).

    I personally do not care for making Maori compulsory, but I think a second language should be introduced in the mid primary educational system. Learning a foreign language also helps to strengthen the understanding of the rules surrounding language and often I imagine would improve many people’s English.

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  30. tvb (3,938 comments) says:

    Making mari compulsory will be counterproductive as outside NZ the Language is meaningless.

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  31. Right of way is Way of Right (1,125 comments) says:

    Kia Ora, fellow posters.

    Well, here we go again, some strange thinking left wing idealogue has had a brain fart, and would like to see the learning of a language with little or no practical value in the modern age made compulsory.

    Shall we take a look at this very interesting suggestion? OK then.

    Over the past few years, a huge amount of money has been spent in the etsablishment of kohanga reo, and maori immersion schools. Maori have been encouraged in many ways to keep their language alive, and have been given a huge amount of state assistance to do so. There is a television channel dedicated to Te Reo, plus one other dedicated to Maori issues.

    So, despite the huge amount of money, time, and resources being placed in to the preservation of the Maori Language, it continues to wither. Before we start allocating any more resources to the preservation of the language, and if indeed Te Reo is worth preserving, should we not instead try to find out why the language is not being learned, rather than make it compulsory to do so? Seems to me a much better way of allocating resources.

    And I know thatTe Reo is an official language in New Zealand, or Aotearoa if you will, but surely those who have the most responsibility to ensure Te Reo remains a language are Maori?

    Hei Konei Ra.

    (PS, I am a New Zealand European of Dutch Descent, who speaks 3 languages! Te reo is not one of them!)

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  32. infused (614 comments) says:

    Sometimes I really hate this country.

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  33. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Lets make fire starting with two sticks compulsory as well. What about wearing grass and living in muddy holes.

    Hell thers a pile of stone age crap we could force on people!

    Shove your culteral imperialism up your ass. If Hone Hawariwa doesn’t have to answer people who speak English then you can get fucked MAKING anyone learn his stone age language.

    Fucking brown necks.

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  34. Caleb (465 comments) says:

    Jeff83, in theory your idea is fine but we dont even have the basics right, in our schools.

    Why, in our modern society, should education standards be heading in a downwards trend?

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  35. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    In 2025…..

    One Network News:

    “The Government is heralding a dramatic closing of the income gap between Australia and New Zealand. Last year at this time the average Australian income was 3.356 times that of NZ. But this year that has reduced to only 3.344″. The Prime Minister, Andrew Little, has said “This is a remarkable vindication of our policies and the people of NZ would be crazy to vote for a change of course at the next election”.

    ….

    “Elsewhere in news, the Minister of Education and Life President of the Educators Union, Hon Trevor Mallard has just returned from the Rwandan capital, Kigali, where he received the inaugural “Resurrecting Tribal Cultures At Any Cost and Promoting Compulsory Social Harmony” Award, on behalf of New Zealand, in recognition of our efforts in saving all the languages of the South Pacific by making them compulsory until the age of 24.

    ..cuts to Hon Trevor Mallard…

    “.. there will always be wreckers and haters. But on this day, I instruct all New Zealanders to be happy. This is a remarkable achievement and I defy anyone to say that the re-education camps weren’t a fair price to pay for this most wonderful achievement…

    Far away, in a Hollywood mansion:

    Warners CEO: “Pete, we’re real glad to have you onboard for ‘Bilbo Strikes Back 16′. Now are we all done?..’

    PJ: “Pretty much. There’s just the small issue of translating these 56,000 pages of contract and special conditions, into Te Reo.”

    Warners CEO: “What the hell..”

    PJ: “..It’s really an issue of respect, Dick. It won’t take more than a couple of years and we’ve engaged the services of Peter Sharples And Associates to help with the translation.”

    Warners CEO: “This is insane, Pete.”

    PJ: “It’s our official language and we’re very proud of it, Dick. And of course I don’t need to remind you that the 99.4% Spend Rebate offered by Large Budget Screen Production Grant Scheme is contingent on the film being contracted and made, in Te Reo”.

    Warners CEO: “Well OK Pete. I’ve got a bad feeling about this, and you know what a huge risk we take in making these films, even with the 99.4% rebate.”

    …some time later…

    Warners CEO: “OK, what about ‘Force majeure’, what’s that in Te Reo.”

    Pita Sharples: “Dick, as you know, Maori have a unique and harmonious indigenous culture where contracts are not required and of course there were no circumstances beyond our control.”

    Warners CEO: “..ok, so what are we going to put in it’s place?”

    Pita Sharples: “Te Force Mateure.”

    Warners CEO: “OK, what about ‘Act of God’”

    Pita Sharples: “Which God are you referring to, Dick? Tane-mahuta, Ranginui, Rongo, Rehus.. ”

    Warners CEO: “…oh for fucks sake..”

    Pita Sharples: “OK, ok. Lets do a clause for each God. Keep it simple.”

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  36. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    Well I’ve long advocated for Maori to be taught in Primary schools and I have a few reasons to do so.
    1) NZ is heading for apartheid as long there is an us and them mentality. If all New Zealanders could converse in Maori there is a lot less of a division due to better intrinsic cultural understandings.
    2) Learning two languages when you’re young, as I understand it, activates areas in the brain which do not otherwise if you only learn one. It also makes learning other languages a lot easier when you’re old enough to make a choice (such as at college).
    3) It’s an official language of New Zealand as well as having a great oral tradition and incredible poetry.
    4) Children learn to be racist. If they’re given more than one cultural background I think New Zealand could become more cohesive as a nation.

    Before the inevitable attack starts please separate Maori child abuse and prison population from the debate on language. Should a second language be taught at school? If so to what age and what language?

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  37. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    I thought it was compulsory. It certainly was at the primary schools and intermediate I went to. If the language is being kept alive only through artificial measures (which even then probably don’t succeed) and requires compulsion then it should probably be considered a historical artifact and consigned to the refuse heap. It is not as if it can be considered necessary for functioning in society or progressing in the world.

    @labrator: You bring up some good points. I would suggest the second language should not compulsorily be Maori, however, although it could be an option.

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  38. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    When someone speaks in te reo, I don’t require a translation because I wouldn’t be interested in what they are saying anyway.

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  39. Manolo (12,617 comments) says:

    I’d rather learn Druid or Old Norse than primitive Te Reo.

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  40. lofty (1,295 comments) says:

    @ Malcolm, bloody good, you have made my day.

    I look forward to the Malcolm v Danyl blog site.

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  41. jackp (668 comments) says:

    “Its all coming to a sad end very soon. Half a million bureaucrats fired in the UK a couple of days ago.

    NO MONEY.”

    Is this for real, Redbaiter?? If it is then there is a light at the end of the tunnel considering how pc the UK is. Now, when is John Key going to get the balls to follow suit.

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  42. the bird is the word (69 comments) says:

    @laprator

    1) NZ is heading for apartheid as long as there is an us and them mentality. Exactly, doesn’t learning Maori reinforce this? We are not just English and Maori.

    2) Ok. But why learn Maori? Isn’t it better to learn Chinese for when they inevitably take us over in the near future?

    3) So is sign language. That’s got some sweet poetry too.

    4) Children learn all about the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori history. But do they learn anything about the rich English history? The Magna Carta? Nope, nothing.

    @Malcolm. Brilliant

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  43. starboard (2,447 comments) says:

    NZ is heading for apartheid as long there is an us and them mentality.

    …too late.. apartheid arrived years ago..have racism as well..just listen to J Harawira..the us and them mentality was introduced by maori…just listen to them talk…” our people “…they constantly talk about ” their people “…us and them.
    They are the true racists. They can stick their compulsory maori lessons up their date.

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  44. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    @labrator: Furthermore, who perpetuates the “us and them” mentality?

    This: “If all New Zealanders could converse in Maori there is a lot less of a division due to better intrinsic cultural understandings.” is a statement which perpetuates such a mentality. You could put any ethnicity’s langauge in there (Chinese, for example) and make exactly the same statement, but you don’t. And I suspect it’s because you do conceive of those with Maori heritage as a separate and somehow special and distinct people, when in reality, they have pretty much the same cultural and racial heritage as any other New Zealander (i.e. they may have Maori heritage, but they also have a lot of non-Maori heritage).

    Please tell me the Maori party doesn’t perpetuate an “us and them” mentality? Make my day.

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  45. Fisiani (851 comments) says:

    Why not make teaching of New Zealand’s other official language compulsory? Surely it would be even worse if New Zealand Sign Language died out. Fill the state curriculum with every fad and fashion to shape young minds to the leftist mould and consign the state education system to third class status from its second class current status.

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  46. Komata (966 comments) says:

    labrator

    A question: exactly what IS ‘Maori’ language’?

    I ask this in all seriousness, because the minute it comes into contact with another language, a language is contaminated. ‘Maori’ is a classic example of this – it is no longer ‘pure’ or in the form it existed during the so-called ‘golden years’ of maoridom (aka ‘before the European stuffed eveything up’).

    The Te Reo taught today is effectively a ‘lash-up’ it is not ‘pure’ and it has as many dialects as there are tribes in new Zealand, with each tribal group absolutely convinced that it holds the one and only version that has remained ‘pure’ and unadulterated.

    A final, but important point – Maori had no written language – and only survives in its preseent form because EUROPEANS wrote it down. Had this not happened it would have long disappeared.

    Again, my question: Exactly what IS Maori langauge?

    I’d be interested in your answer.

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  47. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    Glad you liked it. I’m irascible today.

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  48. adze (1,695 comments) says:

    The main problem with this is not ideological but practical – we don’t have enough Te Reo teachers as it is.

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  49. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    I’m not actually sure that learning another language at an early age is a good idea education wise. My understanding is that in the United States it has been a disaster and they have dropped bilingualism and gone back to teaching only in English.

    I am a big fan of learning another language at high school. But to me it should be an option. Forcing people to learn Maori is counter-productive and more likely to provoke unnecessary antagonism rather than any positive outcome in my opinion.

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  50. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    This story just shows the incredible hypocrisy of the West. The Chinese are accused of inflicting ‘cultural’ genocide on the Tibetans, even though the vast majority, sorry, virtually ALL Tibetans speak Tibetan, dress like Tibetans, and yes, worship like Tibetans.

    What’s more there is state funding for bilingual education for all Tibetans. Tibetans can choose to be eductated in Tibetan if they wish.

    Yet in New Zealand the language of the indigenous Maori is well on its way towards becoming extinct – and most white New Zealanders seem not to care less, and in some cases even ludicrously accuse those who want to keep it alive as encouraging ‘separatist’ tendencies.

    Most white New Zealanders would not give a damn about the major unique part of New Zealand’s cultural heritage disappearing. Incredible.

    The same could be said, or even worse, of the situation of the indigenous people in Australia, the United States, and Canada – i.e. those wonderful anglosphere countries former Australian prime minister Howard was going on about the other day.

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  51. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    @the bird is the word 1)New Zealand was created between Maori and the English. Why not teach both in Primary school were kids are under-taught as is. Go to some free language classes, it’s much more inclusive than a walk on a Northland beach. 2) Same points, you could learn any other language but I think Maori has other benefits for society other than productivity 3) I don’t have an opinion on it becoming an official language 4) I think the history taught in NZ skills is woeful. The magna carta should definitely be taught.

    @starboard I’ve met a few different sorts in my language travels. There are the ones that ask why I’m learning their language and they look a little shocked when I tell them it’s not theirs unless English is mine.

    @jivekitty “is a statement which perpetuates such a mentality. You could put any ethnicity’s langauge in there (Chinese, for example) and make exactly the same statement” Yep but all the other cultures have somewhere else to go and somewhere else where their language and culture is being kept alive. There is only one place where Maori will survive and that’s New Zealand and there’s a reason for that.
    “And I suspect it’s because you do conceive of those with Maori heritage as a separate and somehow special and distinct people” Well you suspect wrong. People are people, culture is culture. There is nothing I can’t stand more than being told that because of genetic predetermination I or any one else should get treated differently. Doesn’t matter if it’s the Jews or the Maori. Genetics shouldn’t play a part in law. I think the Maori seats should go and I don’t like the name of the Maori party or of Maori TV.

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  52. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Zhumao,

    Interesting. So the solution (according to you) is that we invade all areas of Maoridom, crush any form of rebellion and then allow them to practice their own religion and language under the totalitarian control of the larger group.

    After all, that describes the Chinese action perfectly.

    I think Maori value genuine freedom a little more.

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  53. SteveO (76 comments) says:

    “a Waitangi Tribunal report calling for urgent action to turn around a decline in te reo”

    Why don’t they just use Mike’s Nature trick to hide the decline?

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  54. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Komata- you could ask the very same question about Maori itself. “What is a Maori?”

    The word Maori features in so many legal and official and legislative documents but it isn’t even clearly defined. I don’t think there is a pure blooded Maori left alive.

    Maori is a term that should not exist in any legislation. There should be one term only for citizens of this country, be they Maori, Chinese, European, Pacific Islander or from any other group and that should be New Zealander. Legislation should be blind to racial differences.

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  55. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    So the solution (according to you) is that we invade all areas of Maoridom, crush any form of rebellion and then allow them to practice their own religion and language under the totalitarian control of the larger group.

    Is that not exactly what you have already done?

    Tibetans are about 80 to 90% (some people put it as over 90% of Tibet). And were not rebellions crushed and land taken and given to white farmers?

    Go to Tibet. The Tibetans retain far more of their culture and indeed are encouraged to do so, than Maori in New Zealand – the most important of course being language.

    The situation is even worse in Australia. I have visited Sydney and Brisbane and did not see, at least to my eye, one person of aboriginal descent. Is that not tragic?

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  56. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    @Komata Maori like any other language in use is alive and must adapt to every day use. The constructs, inflections and core words haven’t changed one iota with modernity. You need new nouns to describe new things but the language was quite rich before Europeans to my understanding. I’m no language pro and I can only speak basic Maori so I can’t give you any academic definitions.

    It’s interesting that you mention dialects. That was one of the intriguing things I learnt about ‘Maoridom’ in my classes. Originally there was no concept of ‘Maori’, you were from your tribe and that’s all that mattered. Each tribe or area had dialectal differences similar to how the Dutch and Afrikans languages are similar but different. Different tribes even have completely unique words developed for their areas so when I hear people talking about things ‘Maori’ I often wonder where they’re coming from as a lot of people would say they’re Nga Puhi not Maori or Tuhoe not Maori… That’s one of only many fascinating things I learnt of ‘Maori culture’.

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  57. the bird is the word (69 comments) says:

    @labrator

    1) So what if NZ was created between Maori and the British, what about all the other New Zealanders that are here now?

    3) “I don’t have an opinion on it becoming an official language”. Sign language IS an official language, that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact

    “Yep but all the other cultures have somewhere else to go and somewhere else where their language and culture is being kept alive.” So an Asian or an Indian New Zealander’s culture isn’t as important as Maori? Despite the fact they were born here and lived here all their life, that doesn’t matter because their ancestors were from somewhere else and their culture is surviving elsewhere… So they should just go back to where there ancestors came from? Thought genetics didn’t matter?

    “I think the Maori seats should go and I don’t like the name of the Maori party or of Maori TV.” Finally, some sensible chat.

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  58. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    @adze “The main problem with this is not ideological but practical – we don’t have enough Te Reo teachers as it is.” My suggestion had been to offer a x thousand dollar a year pay increase if you could pass a language exam in Te Reo Maori. Don’t give them inflation adjusted pay rises, make them do something to get it. This however does go hand in hand with dropping collective agreements for teachers. A good incentive would work wonders.

    Oh and before I forget @malcolm, very very funny, good effort.

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  59. the bird is the word (69 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    In the Electoral Act (and others), A “Maori” is defined as “a person of the Maori race of New Zealand; and includes any descendant of such a person”.

    But I completely agree with you: “There should be one term only for citizens of this country, be they Maori, Chinese, European, Pacific Islander or from any other group and that should be New Zealander. Legislation should be blind to racial differences.”

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  60. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Because Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, and Maori is the only unique culture to New Zealand, it should be afforded a special status. Just as the French nurture and esteem their own cultural heritage in France, the Chinese in China, the Japanese in Japan, the Russians in Russia, and the Spanish in Spain. That of course does not mean that newcomers have less rights. But it simply means a culture which formed and developed in the place one currently occupies, and has a long history in that place, is respected as part of the heritage of that place, and especially valued.

    I thought most people here would describe themselves as New Zealand patriots? Don’t seem like it to me. Many who would scream blue murder if say Christmas was abolished care nothing about the only language unique to these shores disappearing.

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  61. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Zhumao,

    “Is that not exactly what you have already done?”

    No it is not. We do not have a totalitarian government – a group of despots controlling the lives of the population. China does.

    We also have free & open democratic elections, with universal suffrage, where all of the people have an opportunity to express their views. We allow a broad range of diverse political groups to have equal access within Parliament (in accordance with the votes of the people, as expressed every 3 years) and access to Parliament (through lobby groups and processes such as Select Committee hearings.)

    China does not.

    Maori have rights entrenched in legislation.

    (P.S. the rhetoric of the first Zhumao was more enjoyable. Can you please feed that back to your political masters. Perhaps that Zhumao might pay us another visit?)

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  62. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Inglees are not even compulsorily teeched in Year 13,how the totally bruddy hell can these ejits wont to making totarry ledundant wors than useless Maaori compulsory?

    Our culture is under attack every day in schools.Particularly in “social studies”and history where they get Rosa Parkes and Nelson (god incarnate)Mandela thrust on them instead of Sir Keith Parkes and Admiral Nelson ,people far more relevant to NZ today as opposed to the shit that the idealogues in Wellington want our kids to learn.

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  63. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    @the bird is the word
    1) Why teach English then? Chinese would be just as if not more useful.
    3) No I don’t have an opinion on when it became an official language so I don’t hold any opinions on its validity. If I say I don’t think it should’ve become an official language does that change anything for you?

    So an Asian or an Indian New Zealander’s culture isn’t as important as Maori?

    It’s assumed that they left their country for a reason. Maori haven’t left their country.

    Are you advocating teaching every language in the world or should we just choose the one with the most economic benefit?

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  64. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    We also have free & open democratic elections, with universal suffrage

    Universal suffrage to the indigenous people really means squat if vastly outnumbered. In fact some experts have said, if China had ‘universal suffrage’, groups like the Tibetans would suffer greatly – because there would be no ideological motive to acknowledge autonomy (you would call it nominal) as there is now.

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  65. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    First we need to blacklist Microsoft until they offer Excel in a form which respects Maori culture.

    Excel is available in Maori and Microsoft even went so far as to produce special Maori keyboards for Maori Television because macrons are quite hard to access on the US-keyboard New Zealand has adopted.

    Oh and Google search is available in Maori too.

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  66. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Just as everyone in France learns French and not English, just as everyone in Germany learns German, Chinese in China learn Chinese, and Japanese in Japan learn Japanese, so should everyone in New Zealand learn Maori.

    If you asked a Frenchman to forget about French and just learn English, because English is perhaps more useful and certainly more international, what do you think his reaction would be?

    And would most here even make such demand of a Frenchman, or an Italian, or a Chinese?

    Of course not.

    Many here I suspect would find it tragic if French, or Dutch, or Spanish disappeared as languages.

    Yet they don’t care about Maori disappearing, and expect Maori to just forget their language, because it is apparently not ‘useful’?

    People who don’t support Maori, to my mind, cannot be true NZ patriots.

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  67. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    Zhumau argues that “some experts” say that the Chinese system protects Tibetans.

    It is difficult to define an “expert” in a dictatorship terrified of freedom on the internet.

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  68. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    Compulsory teaching of te reo would be pointless. Pupils will never learn a language unless they WANT to, and even then it is hugely difficult to learn without real immersion – which you could only approach by banning English and teaching all subjects in te reo. All this would do would be to cause resentment and – as many others have pointed out – detract from the time spent on other subjects. All pupils should learn a little about Maori culture and learn at least how to pronounce te reo correctly, but attempts to thrust the whole thing down unwilling throats will fail and cause huge damage in the process.

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  69. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    “Universal suffrage to the indigenous people really means squat if vastly outnumbered. ”

    We also have a number of Maori seats (a number that is linked to the Maori electoral roll, so the more Maori that register on that roll, the more seats set aside for Maori)

    Does China do the same for Tibet in the central controlling body?

    Our govt does not clamp down on dissent or contrary views. China imprisons Nobel Peace Prize winners because of their contrary views. 

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  70. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,786 comments) says:

    Let Te Reo die.

    If anything schools should be teaching Capitalism.

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  71. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    It all comes back to this – unless you want to learn a language, all the money in the world can’t be used to force you to. You will know a few words and phrases perhaps but speak it? Nope.

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  72. the bird is the word (69 comments) says:

    @labrator

    1) Because all (pretty much) New Zealanders speak English. What benefit (other than goodwill, heritage…) is there in learning Maori?
    3) You justified that we should learn Maori because “it’s an official language of New Zealand”. I am saying that justification is not convincing as so is sign language. It’s then a bit cute for you to say that we should learn 2 out of 3 official languages because you don’t think sign language should be an official language

    “It’s assumed that they left their country for a reason. Maori haven’t left their country.” An Asian born New Zealander’s parents may have left ‘their country’ but the child certainly hasn’t. It seems you are advocating that because Maori were here longer than anyone else they are more important… Genetics…

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  73. Pete George (21,798 comments) says:

    The Maori language isn’t very useful to Maori, that’s the problem, they can manage fine in NZ using English. French is still quite useful in France, it’s widely used and is the nimber one language there.

    Maori is better likened to Welsh where English is also their most used language, except that more Welsh people seem to want to still use their traditional language. Most Maori just don’t want to use Maori, and no one can or should make them, the opportunity exists, it’s their choice.

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  74. Manolo (12,617 comments) says:

    Zhumao has revelaed his true colours as a grand master at teaching compulsion.
    No big surprise there, since it is the way of life ot his beloved China, the mammoth communist empire.

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  75. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Does China do the same for Tibet in the central controlling body?

    Absolutely. All minority groups have seats allocated in the National People’s Congress, even the incredibly small Russian minority which numbers less than 20,000.

    Affirmative action for Maori, and indigenous groups in other Anglosphere countries is paltry, compared to affirmative action for China’s minorities:
    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970826&slug=2556773

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  76. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    I am confused though – if Maori language is a taonga so precious why don’t the people to whom it is so precious do everything in their power to keep it. But enough Maori don’t care so the language WILL die out apart from a few academics and so on.

    Another thing – I keep hearing this thing about people getting whacked for talking Maori at school – back in the old days. Hell, back then you got whacked for practically everything. Hands in pocket – Whack. Dirty shoes – Whack. Being cheeky – Whack.

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  77. GJ (329 comments) says:

    The only way that the Maori language will stay alive will be by Maori speaking it in there own homes, thus passing it on to their children.

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  78. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    I just find it absolutely incredible, that those who would describe themselves as true kiwis, patriotic kiwis, proud kiwis, simply do not care about preserving the unique national language of New Zealand.

    Again, its like a Japanese in Japan not caring about preserving the Japanese language, or a Spaniard not esteeming Spanish.

    Language is not something that is simply ‘useful’. It is something which transmits cultural values and nuances which are extremely hard to translate. It is the soul of a people.

    Yet so called staunch Kiwis proud, of their national heritage would let the Maori language simply disappear into the night and not call it a tragedy?

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  79. the bird is the word (69 comments) says:

    @Zhumao

    What about preserving the language (or grunting) of our ancestors, the cavemen?

    At some point you just got to let it go. We’ve reached that point.

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  80. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    Could Zhumao be an agent for Natural Dairy, which is a front for a Maori land claim for the Crafar farms?

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  81. jackp (668 comments) says:

    Zhumao, why don’t the maori preserve their own language? There is the Maori elite that have 15 to 25 billion, depending where I read it from, why do taxpayers have to preserve something that most, about 99 percent of the population don’t even care about? Leave it to the Maoris. They preserve it, they can use it. There was an old Maori lady on Maori Tv that said if the maori families don’t practice their language in the home, it will be lost and that the schools will not preserve the language. Waste of money if they tried (my opinion)

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  82. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Zhumao.
    “Indigenous” is a cultural,political construct. It can mean whatever you want it to mean and changes with time and place,as culture does.
    You’re problem is you fix NZ indigenous culture at around 1840 AD. How about fixing it at 1000 AD and giving a special place to the culture that was “indigenous” to NZ at that time?

    As to French culture would that include Breton, Basque or perhaps Alsatian?The French or Franks were northerners who pushed their way into a weakening Roman world and then came to dominate. Same in Britain,they were Celt till the Romans came,and then the Angles,Saxons Danes etc
    Does Chinese indigenous culture include the Uighur?
    Does Spanish culture include Basques and Catalans?

    Culture is always changing and we create it and fight for it. But I don’t want to pay for some one elses idea of what my culture is nor have a govt shove it down my neck,especially one motivated by leftist ideology. They are fighting and we must fight back,other wise you go the way of your cherished “indigenous” that you dont see lying aroud the place drunk and bemoaning a glorious past that didn’t exist before the nasty Anglo Saxon came along and destroyed paradise.

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  83. Fletch (5,719 comments) says:

    Lucia has a good post about this HERE, which includes a quote by a Maori academic –

    But David Rankin, a Maori academic and a leader of the Ngapuhi tribe, himself a fluent speaker, said it was a lost cause and Maori would not survive as a living language beyond a few more generations.

    ‘Even those few of our children and grandchildren who are learning Maori still converse exclusively in English,’ he said. ‘That is the future, and we have to face up to it.’

    He said Maori would still be used for ceremonial purposes as Latin is in the Catholic Church. ‘More people still speak Latin than Maori now, and Latin is a dead language,’ he said. ‘I believe Maori will share the same fate.’

    Rankin said it was wrong to believe that Maori culture would die without the language.

    ‘Did Italian culture die when they lost Latin?’ he asked. ‘Did Russian culture die when they lost Old Slavonic? Maori culture is stronger than the language.’

    He argued that the 100 million New Zealand dollars (75 million US dollars) the government spends annually on efforts to prop up the Maori tongue would be better invested in other areas of Maori development.

    Lucia also argues that there is no faster way to kill a language than to force people to learn it.

    So, yeh – let it die it’s natural death.

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  84. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Scott, you wish to see more private schools and yet most don’t exist anymore.

    Almost everyone of them is receiving some form of government funding, and I am of the understanding that the cheque was recently increased under this particular National-led government. The amount of “private” schools that were forced to become state integrated over the last 20 years has been astronomical. Private education is running thin, that much is certain. It is now inaccurate to use the term “private education” for schools that are more than happy to receive a cheque or two from the state in support.

    I believe the word you’re looking for is “state-integrated” education.

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  85. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    @the bird is the word
    1) So if we keep up our immigration and eventually have more of Chinese descent than English you’re happy to teach your kids Chinese? Sounds like we’re not really a culture as opposed to a breeding ground.
    3) I wasn’t justifying it with the fact Maori is an official language of New Zealand. I was comparing it to all the other languages that aren’t. Sign language has nothing like the societal benefits of a mutual understanding of the two founding cultures of New Zealand.

    It seems you are advocating that because Maori were here longer than anyone else they are more important… Genetics…

    The language and culture of these islands is important. The fact that you may be a descendant of the original peoples of this country shouldn’t be a legally defined construct. I’m not sure how you are correlating genetics with language. Teaching a language in school, any language does not affect anyone on a genetic basis.

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  86. Pete George (21,798 comments) says:

    Another thing – I keep hearing this thing about people getting whacked for talking Maori at school – back in the old days. Hell, back then you got whacked for practically everything. Hands in pocket – Whack. Dirty shoes – Whack. Being cheeky – Whack.

    I got my mouth sellotaped, I was whacked, sent out of the room for talking English at school.

    I’d like to see the Maori language survive, but I have no personal interest in helping it survive, it needs people who want it to keep it.

    Teaching a bit of Maori language (and history etc) is fine, but you can’t easily teach fluency in a language, you have to live with it, and there are scarce opportunities (or needs) to do that here.

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  87. transmogrifier (518 comments) says:

    Language survives if it needs to survive. Just as there shouldn’t be any restrictions placed on the learning and use of Maori in this country, there also shouldn’t be any moves to make the learning of Maori compulsory just because it is dying off. Literacy and numeracy is compulsory because it is needed in a productive society. Maori is not.

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  88. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    ‘Did Italian culture die when they lost Latin?’ he asked. ‘Did Russian culture die when they lost Old Slavonic? Maori culture is stronger than the language.’

    Italian is an offshoot of latin. It is evolved latin. And Russian is of course evolved from old slavonic. The links are still there.

    If you asked Germans, to all adopt English and drop German, perhaps not too much, relatively speaking would be lost. Because German and English are both Germanic languages, and probably most cultural concepts and nuances expressed in German can be in English without a great deal of loss.

    But Maori is as different from English as Chinese is from Bantu. So much which is unique to the Maori culture would be lost if the language was lost.

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  89. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    there also shouldn’t be any moves to make the learning of Maori compulsory just because it is dying off

    Nothign wrong with some in the early years. But yes teaching fluency is another thing.

    But at least there should be large amounts of state funding pumped in to perserve it. Just like a nation preserves war memorials, pays for museums, preserves cultural artefacts, so should it not only preserve, but actively nurture its national language.

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  90. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Zhumao,

    “Does China do the same for Tibet in the central controlling body?

    Absolutely.”

    Nice try (again) with the selective quotes and answers, but no, China does not.

    China does not offer free & open democratic elections whereby all of the populace are able to express their views by way of voting for one of a broad range of parties, each representing specific values/positions, which is the central governing body, and where Tibetans have a guaranteed number of seats specfic to them (as well, of course, as being able to be represented through the general vote as well.)

    NZ does such a system which provides guaranteed representation for Maori.

    I notice you didn’t respond to the factual point that China imprisons those who disagree – such as a Nobel Peace Prize recipient

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  91. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Zhumao, you’re assuming things about the commenters here which are not necessarily true. You’re also assuming that the language is important to Maoridom and its culture. That it needs such support suggests that to the majority of those of Maori heritage, it is not overly important. You seem to hold a static view of culture.

    Culture in a static sense is a construct. It changes naturally over time as it interacts with other cultures. Making Maori language compulsory is not allowing the culture to change naturally, but either holding a static view of what that culture is or an effort by a minority to attempt to define what exactly that culture should be. That is to say, the minority is attempting to determine what the culture is and shape it in their view of what it should be, instead of leaving it to the majority of those who identify as being of, even partially, such a culture to naturally determine the shape it should and will take.

    Your mention of war memorials, etc, is a non-sequitur. It has no bearing on Maori language being compulsorily taught in schools. After all, surely you are not stating Maori language is historical artifact?

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  92. Pete George (21,798 comments) says:

    Because German and English are both Germanic languages, and probably most cultural concepts and nuances expressed in German can be in English without a great deal of loss.

    Both languages have evolved from Old German, and if you study them you can see many similarities, but the nuances are vastly different, the pronunciation and feel are vastly different, and you have to learn each of the languages in their own right. I have dabbled with German, French and Italian and have found German the most difficult to fit in with.

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  93. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    You’re also assuming that the language is important to Maoridom and its culture. That it needs such support suggests that to the majority of those of Maori heritage, it is not overly important.

    This sort of thing is not just up to a show of hands. Would a majority of europeans care if funding for state orchestras, or national ballets were cut? Would a majority of English really care if they did not learn Shakespeare at school anymore?

    Probably no to both of these questions. Because it is not something they think a lot about in their daily lives.

    But surely such things are important, and should be supported by the state – just as Concert radio is supported by the state.

    How many people listen to Beethoven, even in his birthplace, Germany? Probably not too many. But surely it would be an immense tragedy if Beethoven’s music was lost?

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  94. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Both languages have evolved from Old German, and if you study them you can see many similarities, but the nuances are vastly different

    So even with such closely related languages the nuances are vastly different.

    How much more so then for Maori and English, and how much more difficult would it be to preserve real Maori culture, then, without the language?

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  95. Atheist1 (174 comments) says:

    More irony from Redbaiter at 10.15: “Get off your lazy racist arses and get out and PRODUCE SOMETHING you damn country destroying parasites.”

    This from the guy who posts about a 1000 comments a day! Clearly a bludger himself.

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  96. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    It’s interesting though because English is now compulsory in Germany, particularly for school-aged students.

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  97. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    Good idea, i wish i was taught some Maori language when i was younger, also some NZ History wouldn’t have gone astray.

    What happened in this country is you had a bunch of Poms come in here and try and turn it into the old Mother Country, the problem in this country is most of the immigrants are ignorant about NZ History and only listen to the propaganda.

    To keep a culture alive one has to keep the language alive.

    NZ will be a lot better place when each culture understands each other.

    The majority of Maori are not racist this is a myth potrayed by the media, besides most Maori people have mixed blood, Scottish, Irish, Norwegian, Spanish and Croatian as alot of the early whalers and settlers freely integrated with the Maori people, the Scottish and Irish particularly as they suffered oppression and confiscation of their lands by the English.

    Keep the language alive you keep the culture alive.

    Maori Culture is the only culture NZ has except for RUGBY, RACING & BOOZE.

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  98. Gwilly (154 comments) says:

    What should be compulsory is to learn a foreign language, a language that will enhance the skills of our cildren so they can compete better in the global workplace.

    Lets start with Mandarin and Spanish.

    The lack of choice and opportunity in NZ schools for learning languages is alarming!

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  99. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    I agree Gwilly, Japanese and French are the only options in some public schools here in South Auckland, and might I add that both languages are no longer “globally-recognised” to the same extent as Mandarin, German, and Spanish.

    We have to recognise that New Zealand was the first Western country to formalise a free-trade agreement with China, we have strategic relationships with a number of Asian countries. America and Europe will not give NZ the time of day, we must be proactive and engage with our Asian allies.

    We must ensure that Mandarin is promoted as the language of choice alongside English, it will be the language for business and commerce (if it’s not already).

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  100. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    “How much more so then for Maori and English, and how much more difficult would it be to preserve real Maori culture, then, without the language?”

    Where what is real Maori culture is arbitrarily determined by you or some other small group of self-appointed saviours rather than the people. Good one.

    Are children compulsorily schooled in whatever’s on Concert Radio, ballet, state orchestras? Non-sequitur again. I argue against the compulsion aspect. Try again.

    “This sort of thing is not just up to a show of hands. Would a majority of europeans care if funding for state orchestras, or national ballets were cut? Would a majority of English really care if they did not learn Shakespeare at school anymore?

    Probably no to both of these questions. Because it is not something they think a lot about in their daily lives.

    But surely such things are important, and should be supported by the state – just as Concert radio is supported by the state.”

    As to Shakespeare, yes, it is used in English education but the purpose is textual interpretation which is a useful skill. However, I feel there is far too much emphasis on textual interpretation of fiction in English education in New Zealand. While it may be important to teach it as a skill, it is unnecessary to teach it as the primary skill at least in the pure sense – which is what it is in high schools at present – and I would be indifferent to whether it was Shakespeare, short texts or other extended texts which were retained if English education in New Zealand was changed.

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  101. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    As for discussing Shakespeare the average child leaves school here in NZ unable to read or write properly.

    Learning some Maori may make some children less racially intolerant like their parents, and improve the long term outlook for cooperation between the races, bigots like Rodney Hide and Hone Harawira don’t do alot for Race Relations in this country.

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  102. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Taiwanese is making a real comeback, from being once something slovenly that only the bottom of the heap bothered with, to being now a matter of pride and something that identifies you as a Taiwanese, or more importantly as not-Chinese.

    Maori just need to wake up and realise that if they want Te Reo to be, it’s up to them.

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  103. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    English is NOT compulsory in Year 13,it should be.That tells me the Ministry doesn’t care about NZ culture, which at heart is British.

    English IS compulsory for emigrants to NZ,not Maori,that tells me that English IS the de facto official language of this country and that the legal official language, Maori ,is a fiction.It is also the language of parliament and local govt.

    Rugby is English, racing French and booze is universal,thank God.

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  104. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    ^^^ Year 13? If you haven’t learned enough English to make yourself understood by the time you’re 16 kowtow, you’ve got bigger problems :-P

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  105. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Hahahahaha

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  106. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    If you can read this ,thank a teacher.

    If you can read this in English thank a soldier.

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  107. minto57 (197 comments) says:

    This is what I would call a treaty obligation, not the the seabed and foreclosure.
    It would only need to perate to year nine, after which the choice is yours to learn French etc
    This would defiinitly get rid of the appalling misprounciation of Maori words which makes one wince

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  108. wreck1080 (3,522 comments) says:

    Ahh, yes, learn maori, lets throw out subject like mathematics and reading.

    Much better to concentrate on skills that will really set New Zealand up for success.

    Ha ha ha, what a joke.

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  109. Fletch (5,719 comments) says:

    Apart from cultural and heritage reasons, there isn’t a reason to learn Maori (at least not for me). Isn’t the main reason for learning a language to communicate? So that the other person can understand you? eg, when you go to France, it is good to learn French so that you can communicate with someone who only speaks French – likewise, with German.

    I doubt there would be anyone in New Zealand who spoke Maori and didn’t know English. Thus, there really isn’t a need to speak Maori, apart from cultural tradition, which is fine if you want to learn it for that reason.

    Forcing kids to learn it though, is basically teaching them something which is of no use in the modern world. I’d rather learn French

    Sorry if that sounds racist, but it just seems logical to me.

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  110. KevinH (1,128 comments) says:

    Cultural anthropologists would tell you that a dominant culture such as the English would impose their cultural values including language and customs on the minority culture and exclude or suppress the minority cultures belief systems. In a New Zealand context that is exactly what we see. It is institutionalised racism and that would be a fair assessment of New Zealand.
    For instance the foreshore and seabed issue is an example of how the hegemony of the dominant culture is used to oppress, it’s not pretty but that is New Zealand.
    The Maori language will not die out as some believe. It will be nutured and kept alive by the many Maori speakers in the country. It may dissappear from everyday use within popular culture but will endure.

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  111. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    ***In a New Zealand context that is exactly what we see. It is institutionalised r*cism and that would be a fair assessment of New Zealand.

    For instance the foreshore and seabed issue is an example of how the hegemony of the dominant culture is used to oppress, it’s not pretty but that is New Zealand.
    ***

    KevinH,

    To put things in perspective, how did the Maori deal with the minority Moriori?

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  112. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    …..kevinh sounds like an old Soviet propaganda broadcast,hegemony,racism ,oppression…….

    It’s institutionalised racism to stop that cute cultural practise of bashing ship wrecked sailors over the head and eating them…yeah right.

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  113. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    Who gives a shit if the language dies? There are plenty of people who idenify themselves as Maori. If they want to keep the language alive, then its up to them.

    They majoity shouldnt have to bow to the minority.

    As for the stupid argument “its like telling the people of japan not to speak japanese”… really?? what a freakin troll

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  114. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Surely there should be a Moa comeback tour! Just like Jurassic Park, the boffins are able to reverse engineer extinct species. Those Moa would recognise all the old hunting calls.

    Akaroa should have Compulsory French (High French- Colonial styley, just like Quebec Province has. Fleur de Leys everywhere. Non of the current Republican crap. Far too common. There could be Viking/Norse/Danish/ High German all introduced into the Dannevirke area. Then Old Imperial Chinese into the old Gold Klondyke areas. Shit it will all be great fun, and toattly useful in keeping so many diversity managers and officers going. Meanwhile California State is closing schools at 11am and only doing a 3 day week as the money dries up. Other State Government workers get told that their $30US an hour contract has just become $6. Take it or leave it.

    496k Useless and unwarranted Clipboard protection officers culled in the UK. Gay Gordon recruited 900k more than when Zanu labour swept into power on the Marxism for everyone in a suit package.

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  115. Tauhei Notts (1,509 comments) says:

    Should Maori language be compulsory?
    What is 12 x 12?
    The first question is a gross remark.
    The second question is a gross.

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  116. big bruv (12,326 comments) says:

    No point getting all worked up about this guys, it is going to happen within the next six or seven years.

    I would suggest you simply tell your kids not to bother with their Maori studies.

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  117. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    Wonder if its compulsary in Brazil for kids to learn Amerindian languages?

    Its an insult that portuguese is the official language.

    ffs

    What indian dialect are yank kids learning in school? surely its compulsary there!

    And every aussie i know speaks abo

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  118. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    Zhumao:

    Universal suffrage to the indigenous people really means squat if vastly outnumbered.

    It’s one of the reasons I am so impressed with China’s efforts to keep all the unique cultures and groups that make up the nation alive. I was reading a while ago the one child policy does not apply to ethnic minorities, to encourage a growth of those cultures so they do not die out. There is much to admire there.

    As to language, our daughters are fortunate. They’re getting an English and Afrikaans education from me, a Mandarin and English education from their mother and their school is teaching them (At primary level) Te Reo and English. If they get to high school speaking 4 languages, even if 1 of them is a language unique to New Zealand, I’ll be happy. Language helps you think. It helps you develop. And it helps you communicate.

    The more you know the better, I always think.

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  119. Yvette (2,589 comments) says:

    If learning Maori is to be compulsory, it should be compulsory for Maori first.

    In 1993 there were 14,515 pupils at 809 kohanga reo. Last year there were 9288 children at 464 kohanga reo.
    The proportion of Maori children participating in Maori-medium education has dropped from a high point of 18.6 per cent in 1999 to 15.2 per cent in 2009.
    The total number of schoolchildren in Maori-medium learning has dropped each successive year since 2004.
    There is a shortage of Maori language teachers.
    – Dominion Post 21/10/2010

    The Maori language is in crisis, despite the state spending more than $220 million a year on programmes to save it, a damning report has found. – Dom Post 21/10/2010

    Despite spending more than $225 million a year on Maori language programmes, the tribunal’s report criticised the Crown’s performance over the past 25 years. – Taranaki Daily News 22/10/2010

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  120. Lucia Maria (1,983 comments) says:

    The Maori language was taught when I was in primary school. I refused to learn it. I was already learning to read and write in a second language on Saturdays (organised by the parents), and Maori just seemed pointless to me. Now that I’m older, it still seems pointless, unless you have some sort of special attachment to it.

    I’m teaching my children (and myself) Latin. Latin has major advantages over other languages. Latin is an inflective language, so the root stays the same but the endings change, therefore understanding it requires analysis, which builds up analytical skills which can be transferred to other subjects. The alphabet is the same, therefore new characters don’t need to be learned. Approximately 50% of the English language is derived from Latin. Students who learn Latin have a far better understanding of English and English grammar. Once you’ve learned Latin, learning French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese and Romanian are far easier to learn. And children who learn Latin do far better in all their other subjects.

    John Key told the Chinese that more students are learning Chinese than Latin here in NZ. This is a tragedy. Forget all the other languages and teach children one of the backbone languages of the West – Latin.

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  121. Jeremy Harris (323 comments) says:

    Just…….. no…

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  122. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t we define what they’re talking about?

    Learning a complete language (what hundreds of words mean, how to construct sentences, being able to understand a fluent speaker) = hundreds of hours of learning, and certainly not necessary for most people.

    Learning basic pronounciation so people know not to say “Wong-ee-mat-tah” = can probably be taught in an afternoon, and worth doing. Placenames etc are part of our history and our heritage. Saying them correctly is important. I see it as more akin to teaching basic history and civics (which should be compulsory) rather than teaching an entire language, which ought to remain optional for those who want to learn.

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  123. insider (990 comments) says:

    I wish people would learn how to spell ‘pronunciation’ – might make their views on language more credible . :-)

    Rex

    Language and pronunciation change over time. That’s why they say ‘vaka’ in much of the Pacific and waka in New Zealand. A great strength of English has been its ability to assimilate and adapt. How many English based names have had their spelling and pronunciation corrupted? They are still historically valid and that distortion can enrich that language and history.

    Unfortunately much of the Maori language hierarchy displays a rigid view of their language, which limits language development and creates a sense of arrogance around the purity of their language.

    Basically they are overly anal about little things and often all too quick to tell everyone else they are ‘wrong’ in their use of Maori in non-Maori discourse, when these numbers show they should be celebrating any use of it. Encouragement instead becomes finger wagging, cf Wanganui.

    This may reflect a defensiveness to protect their language but I think it can turn people off. Locking Maori into a timewarp is backward rather than forward looking and will be self destructive.

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  124. youami (45 comments) says:

    @Pascal

    “It’s one of the reasons I am so impressed with China’s efforts to keep all the unique cultures and groups that make up the nation alive. I was reading a while ago the one child policy does not apply to ethnic minorities, to encourage a growth of those cultures so they do not die out. There is much to admire there.”

    How wonderfully magnanimous of them to allow people to determine for themselves how many children they might like to have… oh, but only if you’re not ethnically Chinese, bit of bugger if you are!

    As to the question of compulsory Te Reo, I’m not surprised by the union’s response. The socialist answer to buckets of money resulting in reduced outcomes is always more buckets of money.

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  125. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    @youami:

    How wonderfully magnanimous of them to allow people to determine for themselves how many children they might like to have… oh, but only if you’re not ethnically Chinese, bit of bugger if you are!

    The alternative, of course, is that the most populous nation on the world can simply keep on growing without any checks and balances until the world is so starved for resources that we’ll all be fucked. You don’t think that is smart from the government of the largest population in the world?

    I do. It’s called identifying a problem and doing something about it.

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  126. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Correct pronunciation of Maori placenames when speaking English means saying it in English,not Maori. That’s why listening to the weather on RNZ is so damned annoying! Not to mention OOOO AAAH MARU,where ever the hell that is!

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  127. starboard (2,447 comments) says:

    Not to mention OOOO AAAH MARU,where ever the hell that is!

    …dont forget ..TOE POO…

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  128. insider (990 comments) says:

    It gets even worse Kowtow when they “maorify” the pronunciation of English transliterations of Maori words like Petone (Pito-one) and Otago (otakou). It’s like me putting on an ‘Allo Allo’ like Italian accent to pronounce Turin or a russian one to pronounce Moscow

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  129. youami (45 comments) says:

    @Pascal

    “I do. It’s called identifying a problem and doing something about it.”

    No, it’s called infringing the civil liberties of your fellow Chinese, or you could call it tyranny if you like.

    So good of you to praise the one-child policy when you obviously have multiple children of your own, hypocrisy much?

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  130. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    youami:

    So good of you to praise the one-child policy when you obviously have multiple children of your own, hypocrisy much?

    Does NZ have an overpopulation problem? Are you normally this big of an idiot or are you just making a special exception today because it’s Friday?

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  131. Pete George (21,798 comments) says:

    Where is Whack-a-white?

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  132. insider (990 comments) says:

    In Hone’s neighbourhood?

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  133. youami (45 comments) says:

    Ok Pascal, how would you feel if we did have an overpopulation problem and the NZ authorities forcibly took one of your daughters off you and chucked them in an orphanage where they were left to die? And you’re in favour of such a policy as long as it’s “over there” in China? Wow.

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  134. Pete George (21,798 comments) says:

    Far from Hone – the modern local dialect has changed the sound of the name a little.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waikouaiti

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  135. Tauhei Notts (1,509 comments) says:

    Pete George at 4.17 p.m.
    A few years ago the Waikouaiti races were on Trackside. The local commentator had a completely different pronunciation of the place than did their North Island commentator, who is of Tainui extraction. Maybe George Simon wanted to whack a white who mispronounced Waikouaiti.

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  136. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Ok Pascal, how would you feel if we did have an overpopulation problem and the NZ authorities forcibly took one of your daughters off you and chucked them in an orphanage where they were left to die?

    China has no such policy and you know it. You are simply being dishonest youami.

    And by the way one of the reasons there are a large number of adoptions from China, is the fact that orphans in China are generally well looked after and healthy. And the Chinese government has stringent rules over who can adopt – infants are just not willy nilly handed over to any loser from overseas.

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  137. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    A pregnant woman in southern China was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a month before her due date because the baby would have violated the country’s one child limit, her husband claims. Construction worker Luo Yanquan said his wife was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on October 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.

    http://www.news.com.au/world/chinese-woman-forced-to-abort-eight-month-foetus/story-e6frfkyi-1225942004738

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  138. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    No, it’s called infringing the civil liberties of your fellow Chinese, or you could call it tyranny if you like.

    Whatever the infringement to civil liberties, not as bad as allowing unchecked multiplying of the population, under which everyone will suffer tremendously. In any case as the population becomes more urbanised, and educated, there will not be the need for the law. Fertility rates fall with wealth it seems. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan now have the lowest fertility rates in the world – without the need for compulsion.

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  139. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    A pregnant woman in southern China was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a month before her due date because the baby would have violated the country’s one child limit

    That is certainly not government policy, but rather an individual abuse of it – if true as reported by the British tabloid media – a big effing ‘if’ too. It does not mean the policy itself is wrong. I’ve known many Chinese families with a second child – they pay the fine.

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  140. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “You are simply being dishonest”

    Hhahaha.. says a professional Chicom propagandist. What a lark.

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  141. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    So good of you to praise the one-child policy when you obviously have multiple children of your own, hypocrisy much?

    BS its about hypocrisy – obey the laws of the country you are currently in. Simple.

    No more hypocritical than understanding the need for gun control laws in a highly urbanised place like Hong Kong, while not wanting the same for a place like New Zealand.

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  142. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Pascal’s original point is a fair one. The Chinese government wants minority groups to increase relative to the Han population. That is why Han are subject to the one child policy, but minorities are not. In this way these distinctive cultures of China will survive. Whereas in New Zealand it seems the opposite is happening in the case of the Maori population – and there is the possibility of the Maori language going extinct.

    This is not the place to debate the merits or demerits of the one-child policy. But it is not out of place to describe measures taken overseas which enhance minority numbers and culture, and compare them with the case in New Zealand, where many of the dominant population seem to not care less if the Maori language died out altogether, and even perhaps if Maori identity was lost.

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  143. adze (1,695 comments) says:

    “English transliterations of Maori words like Petone (Pito-one) and Otago (otakou).”

    Uh, actually it’s the other way round… Otago is a transliteration of otakou, which due to dialectic variations among southern Maori sounded like a hard ‘g’:

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/otakou-otago/1

    I can’t find a reference but I’m pretty sure it’s the same for Pito-one. Not so for Poneke though – that’s a Maori transliteration of Port Nicholas (the name of Wellington’s port).

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  144. Yvette (2,589 comments) says:

    …dont forget ..TOE POO…

    Toe paw … for God’s sake, get it right.

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  145. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    The syndicate, Zhumao, posted from Beijing at 10.53:

    ..The Chinese are accused of inflicting ‘cultural’ genocide on the Tibetans, even though the vast majority, sorry, virtually ALL Tibetans speak Tibetan, dress like Tibetans, and yes, worship like Tibetans.

    What’s more there is state funding for bilingual education for all Tibetans. Tibetans can choose to be eductated in Tibetan if they wish.

    Beijing is the colonial occupier of Tibet. It’s troops and citizens have committed atrocities there, including, according to Amnesty International, causing the death of 1.2 million Tibetans and destroying 6000 monasteries and cultural institutes.

    Look at this Amnesty International link: http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=40&pst=679893

    For further evidence of Han Chinese colonialism look at Inner Mongolia, where the indigenous Mongolian population has fallen to less than 10 per cent of the total population, in contrast with the Mongolian Republic, independent thanks to Russian help. There the Mongolian people, Mongolian language and Mongolian culture still dominate. Also consider Beijing’s persecution of the Turkic people, now a minority, in the Chinese province of Sinkiang, once a separate Turkic country. What about the 10 million ethnic Manchu, of whom less than 100 can now speak their own Manchu language. Beijing did a great job there, didn’t it Zhumao?

    Oh, the hypocrisy of Zhumao in presuming to lecture NZ on preserving Te Reo.

    At this very time, Beijing is trying to downplay even the regional languages of true, traditional China, such as by forcing Cantonese-language TV stations in the south to switch to Mandarin. Cantonese, spoken by about 70 million people, is, culturally and verbally a rich tongue. It’s under attack by the centralising Reds in Beijing. Similarly with Min, spoken in Fujian, Taiwan, and many other places. And what is Beijing doing about protecting Shanghainese? An awful lot less than NZ is doing to save Maori.

    Zhumao might argue these are dialects, but language experts remain divided on whether they are heavily different dialects of different languages. It would be fair to say Chinese is a group of languages, generally mutually unintelligible except in the written form. Beijing is at present acting the heavy-handed cultural colonialist over the regional languages. The Communist Party stands for Mandarin, the standardised language of the Beijing region.

    At 11.19 the Zhumao Maoists again chime in, with:

    …Just as everyone in France learns French and not English, just as everyone in Germany learns German, Chinese in China learn Chinese, and Japanese in Japan learn Japanese, so should everyone in New Zealand learn Maori….

    What Zhumao didn’t say was that Chinese in China learn Mandarin, the language of the Beijing region. Why doesn’t everyone in CHina also learn Cantonese and Min?

    And, Zhuamo, answer – why doesn’t everyone in colonised Inner Mongolia speak Mongolian then?

    Uyghur maybe the “second official language” of Sinkiang, but few Han Chinese there speak it. What is Beijing doing about that? Something akin to the Te Reo programme? Yeah right.

    The Zhumao posts should make NZers twice as cautious about allowing the flaky Natural Dairy invest in this country. What can they teach us about agriculture after the appalling tragi-comedy of the Great Leap Forward. Absolutely nothing.

    Beijing time is 7 hours behind NZ at the moment. So expect more from the Zhumao syndicate in the Communist Party office until about 11 tonight.

    It’s not just the communists in China, of course. The Taiwanese don’t even recognise the Mongolian Republic, and the indigenous people of Taiwan, the genetic forbears of all Polynesians, including, of course, Maori, are a minute, hill dwelling relic. They have or had several tongues in the same language group as the Polynesian languages. These people are down to about 2 per cent of the island’s population, and few can speak their native language. According to Wikipedia (probably banned in Beijing, Zhumao, but it’s very good), several of these languages are now extinct and another is down to just one speaker.

    China is the last place you would go to for a model on how to preserve an indigenous language, or any other minority language.

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  146. Manolo (12,617 comments) says:

    The murderous Chinese government is absolulely despicable and beyond contempt. The days of these communist gangsters and opressors are coming to an end.

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  147. Fletch (5,719 comments) says:

    As far as official languages of New Zealand go, it would be more useful to learn sign language than Maori. AT least you’ be able to use it to communicate with the community of the deaf either here or overseas. If it were a toss-up between the two, sign language would be the best choice.

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  148. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    kowtow 12:38 pm,

    English is NOT compulsory in Year 13,it should be.That tells me the Ministry doesn’t care about NZ culture, which at heart is British.

    It used to be.
    When I was in the 7th form (1980) both English and Maths were compulsory. A mate of mine had to go begging to the headmaster to get a special dispensation so he could do five subjects consisting of only Maths and Science subjects; no English. I only think he was permitted because he was very bright – he went on to get joint dux.

    Now we produce kids that upon leaving college struggle to reach what I would have considered 3rd form (year 9) level Maths and English. Pathetic. Forget about Maori being taught in school, lets get the basics right. If they want to learn Maori let them do it through the Polytechs, etc after they leave school.

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  149. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    With Zhumao aboard, it seems either Kiwiblog is slipping under the censorship fence to Beijing, or the Zhumao clique in the Communist Party politburo has special internet access around or through the censorship wall.

    Incidentally, congratulations Liu Xiaobo

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101008/ap_on_re_as/nobel_peace_prize

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  150. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    insider says:

    I wish people would learn how to spell ‘pronunciation’ – might make their views on language more credible

    I have a surplus of O’s in my computer and have donated them to words with a vowel deficit :-P

    Unfortunately much of the Maori language hierarchy displays a rigid view of their language, which limits language development and creates a sense of arrogance around the purity of their language.

    I’ve found a few snobs taking this view as I’ve traveled about, but not many. When it comes to place names (which are my primary concern) the local iwi’s proNUNciation is usually accepted by other iwi. You’d have a point if the entire language became compulsory, but I’m talking Maori words which are in common usage, of which there’s very few.

    Encouragement instead becomes finger wagging, cf Wanganui.

    Agreed entirely. Like so many activists, many are their own worst enemies.

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  151. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    “What about the 10 million ethnic Manchu, of whom less than 100 can now speak their own Manchu language. Beijing did a great job there, didn’t it Zhumao?”

    This is the ignorance which abounds when Westerners speak on China. Note it was the Manchus who invaded China and 400 years ago, and assimilated themselves to Chinese culture, so much so that many have lost their original language – but it was not the Han Chinese forcing it upon them. Now some North Easterners are reclaiming Manchu ancestry to benefit from affirmative action for minorities in China.

    “For further evidence of Han Chinese colonialism look at Inner Mongolia, where the indigenous Mongolian population has fallen to less than 10 per cent of the total population”

    The Inner Mongolians (17% of the population) rub shoulders with Han Chinese, Manchus, and other ethnic groups. The region separates of course Mongolia proper from China, so there will be a mix of different peoples. The Han Chinese, and other groups are as indigenous to the region as the Mongolians themselves. In fact it is the Mongolians themselves who expanded southward and in the process many became absorbed by the Han Chinese many centuries ago.
    In Inner Mongolia far more care is taken to preserve Mongolian culture than New Zealand preserves Maori culture. For example bilingual street signs are compulsory and bilingual education is available to Mongolians, as it is to other ethnic groups in China. Inner Mongolia University is characterized by its Chinese-Mongolian bilingual education.

    Is there the same level of support in New Zealand with respect to the Maori language. No.

    “Uyghur maybe the “second official language” of Sinkiang, but few Han Chinese there speak it. What is Beijing doing about that?”

    But at least the Uyghur’s can and do speak it. Unlike the case with many Maori in New Zealand. And Uighur’s are 45% the population of Xinjiang. And how many Pakeha can speak Maori? How many Australians speak an aboriginal dialect?

    “Look at this Amnesty International link”
    You are an bald-faced liar. The link is not to amnesty international at all. The 1.2 million figure has been debunked, even by pro-Dalai scholars such as Howard French. The 1.2 million figure is one plucked out of thin air.
    The facts are of course, Tibetan life expectancy has doubled, as have Tibetan numbers since 1950. And that is ‘genocide’?

    “Beijing is trying to downplay even the regional languages of true, traditional China, such as by forcing Cantonese-language TV stations in the south to switch to Mandarin. Cantonese, spoken by about 70 million people, is, culturally and verbally a rich tongue.”

    Yes, there were some minor protests over this issue earlier this year. But the issue is hugely overplayed by foreigners wishing to divide and conquer. Cantonese, Shanghainese, Wu, etc are in a very healthy state. Don’t worry about these languages. Rest assured, Cantonese, Shanghainese etc are as Chinese as native Mandarin speakers – and in fact many of China’s most radical revolutionaries come from these two regions – Sun Yatsen himself was Cantonese.
    And remember the written script is the same. In fact it is Chinese characters which have held China together as a nation – if the script was phonetic, China would now be divided into many different countries as Europe is now. But that is not the case.

    And in the end all countries must have a lingua franca. English is New Zealand’s as it is India’s. Mandarin is China’s. Nothing particularly evil about that. Even in Singapore the government encourages Mandarin for the Chinese speaking population. But that does not have to be at the expense of local, indigenous languages. And it is not in China, but unfortuantely in New Zealand it is.

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  152. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    China is the last place you would go to for a model on how to preserve an indigenous language, or any other minority language.

    Tibet indigenous population: 80 to 90%
    Xinjiang indigenous population: 45%
    Inner Mongolia Mongolian population: 17% (note that other groups such as Manchus, Han etc are just as indigenous as Mongolians to the area)

    Now compare:
    Canada indigenous: 3%
    US indigenous: 2%
    Australia indigenous: 2%
    New Zealand: 13%

    Now visit Tibet and visit say Brisbane. How many Tibetans do you see in Tibet speaking their own language, in their national costumes, etc. How many aborigines do you see doing the same in Brisbane, or Sydney, or Melbourne.
    Truly, who are more disenfranchised? Tibetans or Australian aborigines?

    FFS, Tibetan life expectancy is even greater than the life expectancy of Australian aborigines – even though Tibet is a very remote region and the per capita income in China is far less than it is in Australia.

    There is also state funded bilingual education for all the major ethnic minority groups in China.

    “there is a two-track school system in Tibet, with one track using standard Chinese and the other teaching in the Tibetan language. Students can choose which system to attend. (The same dual system is used in Xinjiang and other provinces with large non-Han populations.) One negative side effect of this policy, which is designed to protect and maintain minority cultures, has been reinforcement of a segregated society. Under this separate educational system, those graduating from schools taught in languages other than standard Chinese are at a disadvantage in competing for jobs in government and business, which require good spoken Chinese. These graduates must take remedial language instruction before attending universities and colleges.”

    So the Chinese government has been so successful in preserving minority languages, that Mandarin suffers, to the detriment of those minority people when it comes to looking for a job. Just as Maori fluent only in Maori would suffer if they lacked English. It seems this is the complete opposite case of what the ignorant Jack5 claims.

    And my source. The US State Department itself. Here is the link. http://tinyurl.com/c24gdo
    Click on it and check that it actually is a US State Department link. Really – unlike Jack5′s bullshit ‘amnesty international’ link.

    Even TV is in the indigenous languages. Friends visiting Xinjiang in the early 1990s saw the Professionals (bodie and doyle) series on Xinjiang TV – translated into Uighur.

    Now does New Zealand, Australia, the United States, or Canada promote bilingualism for their indigenous to even a fraction of the extent that China does. The answer is obviously a big fat NO.

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  153. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    It’s not just the communists in China, of course. The Taiwanese don’t even recognise the Mongolian Republic, and the indigenous people of Taiwan, the genetic forbears of all Polynesians, including, of course, Maori, are a minute, hill dwelling relic.

    Actually the communists do a lot better job than the government on Taiwan. That is because the communists have an explicit nationalities programme (adopted from the Soviet model). If China suddenly became a ‘democracy’ in the Western sense, it is likely bilingual support would be dropped, Tibetans and Uighurs simply outvoted, and not even given nominal independence, and other forms of state support for maintaining cultures would disappear – including allowing minorities to have more children than Han (who are restricted by the one child policy).

    ‘Democracy’ in multinational countries just means minority groups get swamped, unless special measures are put in place to prevent this from happening.

    Note this. In 1950, the Chinese socialist government already acknowledge the right of Tibetans (and Uighurs) to be autonomous (at least nominally – which is better than not at all). In Tibet the Dalai Lama ruled for 8 or 9 years under the auspices of Beijing, with almost complete autonomy. It was only when the central government started to enact land reform and demolish the Tibetan feudal and manorial system, ie land was taken from aristocrats and monasteries and given to poor Tibetans, that that Tibetan aristocracy, and theocrats, with the help of the CIA rebelled, were suppressed, and then fled to India.

    There are many staunch Tibetan Maoists, and it is an incontrovertible fact that much of the damage to Tibetan religious shrines, artifacts during the Cultural Revolution were carried out by Tibetan red guards, who in the end were restrained from doing further damage by the Peoples Liberation Army.

    While the Chinese communists right from early on, recognised the right of minorities to run their own affairs , the Australian government did not even recognise aborigines as full human beings and count them in the census until 1967.

    The Anglo Saxon are the biggest colonizers in history, and have the most deplorable record when it comes to fairly treating those indigenous people colonised. They are also the biggest hypocrites, always pointing out the perceived failings of others, while squatting on other peoples lands.

    People like Jack5 are so incredibly arrogant that they are blind to the irony of all this.

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  154. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    Zhumao – where is Liu Xiaobo? Why was he arrested?

    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2010/xiaobo-photo.html

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  155. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    And what is Beijing doing about protecting Shanghainese? An awful lot less than NZ is doing to save Maori.

    Again I just have to point out this absolutely ludicrous comment by the ignorant Jack5.

    Shanghainese has 14 million speakers who speak it fluently and use it on an everyday basis right now. Rest assured, it will not die out. Shanghainese do not feel oppressed by Mandarin speakers – as you are trying to imply. Far from it. They are Chinese as Chinese can be, and in fact the most radical communist factions were based in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. Shanghai is the city where the communist party was first formed, and where they were most active in the 1920s until the infamous massacre of communists by Chiang Kaishek in 1927.

    As for Cantonese (my own mother tongue), there are about 66 million speakers in China alone. Polish, Romanian, and French will go extinct sooner than Cantonese. Cantonese is used in everyday communication in Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau, and even parts of other neighbouring Chinese provinces.

    Now, Maori is in a completely different boat. There are perhaps a hundred thousand speakers of Maori? Maori is not used in everyday conversation, it seems, even among Maori. And Maori academics have said the language is heading towards extinction. And Maori are only 13% of New Zealand’s population.

    So comparing the situation of Cantonese and Shanghainese on the one hand and then with Maori on the other is absolutely dumb, stupid, retarded, and ignorant.

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  156. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Zhumao posted at 8.18:

    …You are an bald-faced liar..

    And you are an angry blue ant, Zhumao! Whoops, forgot, Mao jackets are out. My apologies.

    Communists have been barking such ad hominem insults as “bald-faced liar” for more than 90 years. Wonder whether the fact that Lenin had a goatee had anything to do with it?

    Reds can’t cope with dissent or criticism.

    The shooting and arrests of Tibetans in the protests ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games were just lies too, I suppose, Zhumao.

    Can Zhumao seriously think New Zealanders who identify as Maori would swap places with Tibetans in their Han Chinese-ruled Marxist heaven? An opiate dream I would say.

    Zhumao, why do you sidestep the point that China has utterly failed to maintain the Manchu language? Beijing has let it wither away to death’s door. BeijingCould have learned from Te Reo. Too fanatic to think a free country can save a language, I suppose.

    The population figures Zhumao gives for Inner Mongolia are from the 2000 census. Even then Han Chinese had come to make up 79 per cent of the population. If first, the White Russians with the aid of the West Tibetan cavalry, and then the Soviet Union, had not helped the rest of Mongolia to remain an independent nation, then Han Chinese would have been 80 per cent of the population in the Mongolian Republic, too. Zhumao knows well that the use of the Mongolian language in (Chinese) Inner Mongolia is receding in everyday use in urban areas, and Inner Mongolia’s population is increasingly urban.

    Of the centralisation and standardisation of Chinese languages to Mandarin: Zhumao cannot deny there were protests within the last two months in the big cities of Guangzhou (Canton) and Hong Kong over a proposal that Guangdong Television stop its news coverage in Cantonese and go over to Mandarin.

    It’s 4pm in Beijing. A couple of hours to go Zhumao before you can head for a Maotai or two. Drink to democracy!

    Again, long live Liu Xiaobo, hero of free countries now and future hero of China!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101008/ap_on_re_as/nobel_peace_prize

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  157. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    The 1.2 million figure has been debunked, even by pro-Dalai scholars such as Howard French.

    Sorry. I meant to say Patrick French.

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  158. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Zhumao posted at 8.58 of Shanghai’s great people:

    …They are Chinese as Chinese can be, and in fact the most radical communist factions were based in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. Shanghai is the city where the communist party was first formed…

    The Red Guards were pretty big there, too, weren’t they Zhumao?

    Zhumao’s comments shows that for him “Chinese” is synonymous with “communist”.

    Not for ever, Zhu-Mao.

    And on the Shanghainese language – did Beijing feature it in the big trade exhibition?

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  159. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    “to be autonomous (at least nominally – which is better than not at all)”

    Zhumao. Yes, you are correct – they are permitted to autonomously do that which the central Chinese ruling despots demand.

    If life is so great for the Chinese people, you would have absolutely no problem with free & open democratic elections with universal suffrage. After all they would vote the Party back in wouldn’t they, as it is so great and generous? Surely you can see that you have nothing to lose. Just do it

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  160. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Zhumao posted at 9.01:

    …I meant to say Patrick French.

    No problem, Z. Good job the rest of the apparatchiks are still in the office, eh?

    We’re on the eve of a holiday weekend in NZ. Feel free to join us. Knock off early tonight. Head for a Maotai.

    Gom bui and Gan bei, too!

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  161. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    “Can Zhumao seriously think New Zealanders who identify as Maori would swap places with Tibetans in their Han Chinese-ruled Marxist heaven? “

    Just a stupid question. The living standards are far higher in NZ than they are in Tibet for one. But in terms of equivalent state support for bilingualism and maintaining culture, and also in pure demographic advantage, yes.

    Most Maori, I presume, would not mind the option of education in Maori, nor would they mind been 80% of New Zealand’s population unlike the current 13%.

    “Zhumao, why do you sidestep the point that China has utterly failed to maintain the Manchu language? “

    Again you are an idiot. The last dynasty of China, the Qing dynasty, was Manchu and Manchus ruled China for 400 years. They themselves decided to become assimilated and most consider themselves Han Chinese now. You cannot blame the Han for that. Your point is as ridiculous as say the descendants of the Norman conquerors of England blaming the English for not doing enough to preserve their original old French or whatever they spoke. Just a stupid stupid comment.

    So you see no side-step there. The Manchus willingly became assimilated Han, as did the Mongols before them. Note that historically it has been these two nomadic groups, and other related tribes who have always tried to invade and conquer China. Not the other way round.

    “The shooting and arrests of Tibetans in the protests ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games”

    It is well known that Chinese law enforcement let groups of thugs wreak havoc and mayhem before responding in kid-glove like fashion. Those shot were rioters, and those arrested had burned shops and other businesses down, and were duly punished. Even the US, and othe Western countries, apart from a few pro-forma statements expressed little condemnation. They could see the facts of the matter.

    “Zhumao cannot deny there were protests within the last two months in the big cities of Guangzhou (Canton) and Hong Kong over a proposal that Guangdong Television stop its news coverage in Cantonese and go over to Mandarin.”

    I did mention it in post at 8.18pm. Again you lie. This was a minor issue involving a few hundred protesters. And it was over rumours that Cantonese would be replaced with Mandarin. And Guangzhou television now continues to broadcast Cantonese shows. And the municipal government has said “The city government will continue to spare no effort to promote … Cantonese opera, and Cantonese pop music in the coming years”

    I’m Cantonese myself. I would hate for it to be replaced by Mandarin, which is for all intents and purposes, a foreign language. But that is simply not going to happen – in spite of the old divide and conquer tactics of a few Westerners.

    Rest assured, Jack4, Cantonese will not disappear. Not that you would worry if it did.

    You worry about ensuring the survival of Maori – a truly endangered language.

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  162. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Just to highlight more of the dumbness of Jack5:

    “And on the Shanghainese language – did Beijing feature it in the big trade exhibition?”

    I thought it was a trade exhibition, not a linguistics, or social anthropology conference. And Chinese characters are the same for all the dialects. So yes Shanghainese can read all the signs there, as can Cantonese, or whatever part of China people are from. I suppose much of it was in English anyway.

    “Again, long live Liu Xiaobo, hero of free countries now and future hero of China!”

    Again your ignorance shines. Even in Hong Kong, there is not much support for this fellow.

    He said the following:

    He said: “It would take 300 years of colonialism. In 100 years of colonialism, Hong Kong has changed to? what we see today. With China being so big, of course it would take 300 years of colonialism for it to be able to transform into how Hong Kong is today.I have my doubts as to whether 300 years would be enough”

    To most Chinese Liu Xiaobo is a traitor and running dog.

    Just as most New Zealanders would consider another New Zealander who advocated China, or Russia, or Japan say invading and conquering New Zealand and colonizing it for 300 years – a traitor.

    Obviously the West pretends to love him. Because with Liu Xiaobo or people like him in power, the West could again invade and carve up China.

    Liu Xiaobo can rot in jail as far as I am concerned.

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  163. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Zhumao posted at 9.20:

    …the Manchus willingly became assimilated Han, as did the Mongols before them…

    Now Zhumao, you know that’s not correct. Ninety years ago there was a very nasty war between the Mongolians, helped by the west Tibetans and the White Russians (and later the communist ones) to prevent assimilation with China.

    The Tibetans apparently resist assimilation, too.

    I agree the Manchu have been assimilated to a greater degree, but perhaps that’s because they ran China for so long.

    The only commonality I can see between Tibetans and Han Chinese is that their languages are members of the broad Tibetan-Chinese language group. Tibetans look different, dress different, and their language is a different from Mandarin as English is say from an Indoeuropean language like Georgian. Their version of Buddhism has been different, too. My understanding is that the Tibetan Buddhism, which Mongolians share, is quite warlike compared with the dominant version of China and South-east Asia. You probably know much more about that.

    In contrast to your view of me, I am pleased Cantonese will survive. It is a great language though more difficult than Mandarin for gwailos to learn because of its extra tones, and it reflects the bubbling, warm, creative (especially in food) Cantonese speakers. In NZ, Chinese for 150 years was largely Cantonese until the last decade or to. The Cantonese and Fujian people are such good business folk I’m always surprised when I come across some who like the communist approach to life.

    As for your 9.30, post, Zhumao:

    I thought it was a trade exhibition, not a linguistics, or social anthropology conference. And Chinese characters are the same for all the dialects. So yes Shanghainese can read all the signs there, as can Cantonese, or whatever part of China people are from. I suppose much of it was in English anyway.

    But Z., there would have been voices on sound systems, and so on. I bet they all spoke in Mandarin rather than Shanghainese. And English? Don’t tell me it’s taking over China, too.

    As for the running dog reference, I could never understand this metaphor of the Chinese communists. We bet on running dogs – greyhounds. What is the running dog mean – a cowering animal that’s running away from something? I don’t think that fits Liu Xiaobo. Your grandchildren will hail this man as a national hero.

    But it’s getting late. You must be getting dry.

    Gom bui! Down the hatch!

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  164. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    “Ninety years ago there was a very nasty war between the Mongolians, helped by the west Tibetans and the White Russians (and later the communist ones) to prevent assimilation with China.”

    It was more about simply independence rather than assimilation. The Han Chinese in Inner Mongolia however have had a presence there for thousands of years and many are as indigenous to the area if not more than the Mongols, and it was the Mongols who expanded down into the area from further North (I think their origins are somewhere to the south of Lake Baikal in present day Russia).

    The PRC government has accepted the loss of Mongolia (sadly, in my view – but really there was no choice – Mongolia became independent in the 1920s – the first communist country after the Soviet Union – well before the establishment of the PRC). The Taiwanese government still has not.

    “The only commonality I can see between Tibetans and Han Chinese is that their languages are members of the broad Tibetan-Chinese language group.”

    I’m not arguing that there are not huge cultural differences between the various nationalities in China. All I am saying is that China has not done a bad job in recognising these differences and fostering the languages, culture, and even numbers of the groups concerned (the exception being during the Cultural Revolution – but then that was an iconoclastic movement which targeted all of China’s cultures – not just minority cultures. And the worst excesses were definitely not endorsed by the upper leadership, nor indeed by Mao himself). In fact the policy of the Chinese government has probably led to increased demands for separation —by recognising autonomy and also preserving the cultures of Tibetans, Uighurs, Mongols etc, there is more likelihood of separatist ideas developing.

    And is that not what many conservative New Zealanders jump up about everytime there is some Maori initiative – they label it separatist or apartheid or somethign silly like that.

    “is a great language though more difficult than Mandarin for gwailos to learn because of its extra tones, and it reflects the bubbling, warm, creative (especially in food) Cantonese speakers.”

    Yes, definitely – and to my earlier point about language being a vehicle for culture. Cantonese to me has a warm familial feel, that I simply don’t get from hearing mandarin. But that is obviously because it is my mother tongue. But there is a crazy, zany, and even nutty aspect of Cantonese people, that is expressed through the language with words (and even body language) for which there are no formal characters, and which simply does not translate well into Mandarin. So if even languages as close as Cantonese and Mandarin can contain nuances which are not mutually intelligible, necessarily, how much more the case between the English and Maori languages?

    “I bet they all spoke in Mandarin rather than Shanghainese.”

    That just has to be the case sometimes. The exhibition involved all of China, and Mandarin is the official language – the lingua franca. I don’t see that as an assault on Shanghainese in any sense.

    “What is the running dog mean”

    The closest equivalent in English would be Uncle Tom. When we call a Chinese a running dog (zou gou) we generally means he is a lickspittle to the Japanese, British, or Americans , who would sell out the national interest. Liu Xiaobo is one of these, and in fact there are many other activists from the left who do not get the same high profile as Liu Xiaobo who really do act interests of the Chinese people, but are ignored in the Western media. The reasons for this are obvious.

    Gom bui! Down the hatch!
    Actually more accurately spelt ‘Gon Bui’ I think – but very good anyway. Have a nice weekend.

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  165. Kiwi Dave (45 comments) says:

    For 80 years Ireland has tried to make Irish the preferred national language through compulsory instruction and various incentives, yet for 80 years the Irish have massively preferred English. A majority say they can’t speak the language; most of those who say they can speak it don’t speak it outside the classroom; and given the non-definition of ‘speak Irish’ in the last three censuses, who knows what quality of language and range of subject matter claimed Irish speakers are actually capable of. Three pre year 2000 estimates of Irish proficiency I’ve seen are quite low – 4% proficiency, 5% proficiency and 12% fluent/near-fluent combined.

    New Zealand isn’t Ireland, so I don’t know if we would do better or worse than Ireland, but the message is clear: if the individuals on whom a language is forced don’t value it, they mostly won’t learn it, or if they learn it, won’t use it. Nor will accusing learners and their families of racism and unpatriotism motivate them to learn and use it.

    Good luck to those who wish to learn the language and culture. As a language learner myself, I mean that sincerely; but don’t assume your cultural, language and educational preferences are other people’s. If enough people value the language and culture, they will survive; if not, the language will disappear and the culture will evolve.

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  166. soul923 (1 comment) says:

    Kia Ora ,

    As a 17 yr old young Maori male i am very much proud to be fortunate enough to speak and see the beauty of my language,I can tell you all now that Te Reo Maori will never die and that’s a definite .I strongly agree that Maori should be compulsory but NOT because i am Maori but rather it will bring NZ to a better level of understanding with Maori .How ? learning the Reo will bring down this barrier that one white people have with Maori .And how would this benefit people other then Maori ,it will give them a more sense of belonging to the land, knowing things like what the names of your street or town mean already has its own piece of priceless rich history .It would most definitely bring Maori to more peace rather then hearing about some Maori’s on t.v going about again with their problems .But i know with every inch of my heart that if only NZ can open their eyes to a culture that of beauty this country will be stronger then ever ,starting off with the bringing of down this barricade between the different cultures in Aotearoa .

    “Ko te mana o te Rangatira he korero”

    “The power of a leader is his words”

    :)

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