No need for compulsory Maori?

April 16th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by Jadis

A café on Waiheke Island has come up with a novel way to increase the use of te reo and it isn’t compulsory to use it but will save you some money.

On a Sunday, you can arrive at 8.30am, right at opening time, and by 8.35am there is a queue of locals out the door, waiting for their freshly baked hot cross buns, patisserie, artisan breads and hot, steaming drinks.

And if you say “He kawhe maku”, instead of “I’d like a coffee”, you’ll get 50c off for your trouble.

Owner Patrick Griffiths says the idea of introducing is to support people to learn the at whatever level they want, and to feel comfortable about it.

He and his wife Hinemoa have been studying te reo for seven years.

“If you want to speak Italian you can go to Italy and immerse yourself in the language but there’s no place you can really go to speak te reo Maori.

“It’s one of our three official languages and is a taonga – it’s very precious.”

Sure, it is on the very liberal Waiheke Island but it sure is a more interesting and fun way to encourage people to use everyday, conversational Maori.

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103 Responses to “No need for compulsory Maori?”

  1. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    If I lived there I’d use the phrase just to get the cheaper coffee. Still doesn’t make the language useful.

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  2. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Surely there is more to life than things which are “useful”. What is the Mona Lisa “useful” for? What is the Bible “useful” for? Culture and art has intrinsic value.

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  3. pcplod (29 comments) says:

    OMG! Useless idiots. Business will really take off encouraging other useless idiots to be their customers. Do they not realise that clever people who earn the money cannot be bothered with such PC rubbish and will spend elsewhere.

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  4. Flyingkiwi9 (54 comments) says:

    @Weihana unlike the Maori language, the Mona Lisa actually supports itself.

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  5. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    pcplod (18 comments) says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Do they not realise that clever people who earn the money cannot be bothered with such PC rubbish and will spend elsewhere.


    On a Sunday, you can arrive at 8.30am, right at opening time, and by 8.35am there is a queue of locals out the door, waiting for their freshly baked hot cross buns, patisserie, artisan breads and hot, steaming drinks.

    I think your cleverness may be in doubt. :)

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  6. Unity (584 comments) says:

    I’d either pay the extra 50 cents or more likely I wouldn’t be bothered going at all if they are going to come up with something as inane as that. No way will anyone force me to speak/learn a language which would be of absolutely no use at all anywhere and I certainly wouldn’t be bribed to speak it.

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  7. transmogrifier (522 comments) says:

    Fuck me, this blog attracts some miserable bastards. A private business making a business decision. Either like it and go or don’t and don’t. Seems pretty straight-forward to me.

    And it’s not coming on here saying “I wouldn’t go” that I’m objecting to, that is understandable and the customers’ choice. It is the weird ANGER on display at the idea of a business using Maori at all that is perplexing.

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  8. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    His business, his call. The owner can do as he pleases.

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  9. Steve Wrathall (284 comments) says:

    Weihana: “Culture and art has intrinsic value.”
    There is no such thing as “intrinsic value”. Value presupposes a valuer, who must be prepared to exchange something for that which they value. Otherwise they cannot say they value something.

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  10. secondcumming (93 comments) says:

    What bloody next? Getting Dotcom over as a celebrity barista!!

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  11. edhunter (547 comments) says:

    How about being able to pay extra not to stand in a queue going out the door?

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  12. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    If it’s so “precious” why don’t Maori use it?

    Please stop ramming this bullshit down our over taxed necks.

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  13. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Manolo: Quite right…his business …

    I assume “kawhe” is invented Maori for “coffee”? Twenty odd years ago there was a government funded outfit whose job was to come up with Maori terms for the myriad things for which there was no Maori word – it being a stone age language. I remember there being considerable mirth about a great long phrase which was dreamed up to mean “cervical cancer”…about ten words from memory.

    Does anyone know if said government funded organisation still exists? Highly likely it does I suspect…

    Funnily enough the Tongans seem to manage quite well without any such organization…they simply “Tonganise” the English, so that “machine” becomes “misini”, and “fax machine” became “Misini fax”, “komputa” for “computer” etc. But then the Tongans understand the limitations of THEIR stone age language, and dont try to pretend it is adequate to describe life in the 20th century let alone the 21st…

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  14. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Steve Wrathall (206 comments) says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Weihana: “Culture and art has intrinsic value.”
    There is no such thing as “intrinsic value”. Value presupposes a valuer, who must be prepared to exchange something for that which they value. Otherwise they cannot say they value something.

    I wasn’t trying to say that culture and art have value independent of a “valuer”, I was trying to say that it is valued for its very nature rather than as something used for some other purpose. That is that the people value it for its intrinsic nature rather than its usefulness in achieving something else (e.g. communication in everday life). So I am using “intrinsic value” in a subjective and relative sense rather than in an absolute sense.

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  15. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    IIRC the literal translation of the “new” Maori version of “cervical cancer” was “a growth upon the mouth of the mother of humankind”…or something equally stupid…

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  16. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    I’m with Manolo on this one. If the owner wants to offer a discount for those speaking an irrelevant tongue then that is his choice. I sure as hell would not choose to frequent his establishment as I have no desire at all to spend time dining with a bunch of white middle aged liberals

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  17. Steve Wrathall (284 comments) says:

    Weihana: Riiight. So Te Reo is valuable in the same way that, pre-Rogernomics, the warehouses full of obsolete telephones that were being stored by the NZ Post Office, were “valuable”. Not because they were useful for some purpose, but because of their “intrinsic nature”?

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  18. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    David Garrett (5,102 comments) says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    IIRC the literal translation of the “new” Maori version of “cervical cancer” was “a growth upon the mouth of the mother of humankind”…or something equally stupid…

    Maori is indeed a stone-age language and historically describes things the culture was familiar with. Hardly surprising and given the amount of new things human civilization has produced in recent times there are needed additions to any language. It’s a safe bet Queen Victoria probably never used the word microprocessor.

    But I’m not sure why Maori words are more stupid than any other language. English is full of pointless rules that add nothing of practicality and only serve to waste hours studying arbitrary rules in order to pass an English exam.

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  19. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    No, just a responsibility to enable access to learning the language for those who want to.

    It’s an official language, a protected taonga, and it might well enhance the self respect of Maori as New Zealanders.

    This is good for our society.

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  20. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Weihana: As is often the case, you didnt bother to read what I wrote properly…what I said was “stupid” was not Maori words per se, but coming up with great long convoluted phrases in Maori to describe something…like cervical cancer.

    I’m not sure if the Tongans have such a phrase, but if they do it will be “serwical cansa”…a Tonganisation of the English…in part that’s because they dont have the money for such indulgences as a goverment funded body to dream up new “tongan” words, but also because they are a very pragmatic people…

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  21. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Steve Wrathall (207 comments) says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Weihana: Riiight. So Te Reo is valuable in the same way that, pre-Rogernomics, the warehouses full of obsolete telephones that were being stored by the NZ Post Office, were “valuable”. Not because they were useful for some purpose, but because of their “intrinsic nature”?

    Bit before my time old chap, but I would hazard a guess that the storage of such was not an end in itself. Useful for some purpose doesn’t mean it has to be a purpose that is worthwhile! :)

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  22. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    One wonders whether the person who downticked my earlier post prefers the old policy of a ban on talking Maori in schools.

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  23. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    David Garrett (5,103 comments) says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Weihana: As is often the case, you didnt bother to read what I wrote properly…what I said was “stupid” was not Maori words per se, but coming up with great long convoluted phrases in Maori to describe something…like cervical cancer.

    Hence why I brought up silly rules in English. “Convoluted phrases” is clearly one of the rules when inventing a Maori word. I imagine there’s a bit of sillyness in every language.

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  24. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    SPC: Starter for 10 young (wo)man…Who initiated the “no speaking Maori at school”, and why?

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  25. Nostradamus (3,326 comments) says:

    David Garrett:

    Are you talking about the Maori Language Commission?

    What is the Māori Language Commssion?

    The Māori Language Commission was set up under the Māori Language Act 1987 to promote the use of Māori as a living language and as an ordinary means of communication.

    Who are we and what do we do?

    We have a Board of five members and a Chief Executive who reports to the Board. Our Board and Chief Executive are: [omitted for brevity]

    Our operations are divided into five groups:

    Māori Language Development & Standards

    There are two teams working in this area. The Māori Language Services Team is responsible for developing language standards, for quality assurance, and training and certifying translators and interpreters. The Proficiency Team is responsible for the development and administration of sector specific proficiency examinations.

    Māori Language Community Initiatives

    The Mā Te Reo Fund administration team manages the Mā Te Reo Fund and distributes funding to support community-based Māori language initiatives.

    Promotions

    The Promotions team is responsible for all promotions and communications.

    Policy

    The Policy team provides advice to the Minister, State Sector agencies and educational institutes.

    Finance and Administration

    The Finance and Administration team covers all aspects of financial management and general administrative support for the office.

    Looks like a very busy workplace!

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  26. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Nostradamus: That sounds like the outfit…although I note that they dont say one of their functions is “dreaming up new Maori words and phrases for things the language did not and could not originally describe”

    All those departments and wallahs…$5-10 mill per year do you think?

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  27. Nostradamus (3,326 comments) says:

    I think they do “modernise” the Maori language – see here:

    Lexical expansion

    Lexical expansion is a major part of the Commission’s work. These texts have been produced by the Commission and can be purchased from most bookstores:
    •Te Matatiki a dictionary of contemporary Maori words.
    •Māori for the Office assists organisations to become bilingual.
    •He Kohinga Kīwaha a monolingual collection of idiomatic Māori sayings.

    As for the Maori Language Commission’s funding, according to their latest annual report, they received $3,204,000 from the Crown and $1,780,159 in “other income” – a total of $5,040,360.

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  28. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    SPC: BAAARP! Out of time…In the 1920’s Sir Apirana Ngata persuaded the government of the day to introduce a policy of “No Maori spoken at school” for the then “Native” Schools…the widely quoted “strapped for speaking Maori” was of course simply because in those less enlightend (?) days you got the strap or the cane for all infractions. Ngata’s reasoning was that to make their way in the modern world his people needed fluency in English…it was assumed – probably correctly at that time – that Maori would be the language spoken in the home.

    Ngata was also strongly opposed to welfare for Maori…he said it would be “the ruin of my race”, and equally strongly opposed to Maori being allowed in licenced premises…and until the 1950’s (I think) they weren’t.

    My source for all of this? The comprehensive biography of Ngata by one Dr. Ranginui Walker…

    Nostradamus: Yep, “expanding” the language clearly means “making up new words”…and I was right on the money re the funding…

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  29. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    One wonders what Ngata would think of today’s world.

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  30. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    I’ve just watched an episode of “8 out of 10 cats does Countdown” where one of their words was “wahine” so Maori does travel a little.

    OT but I don’t think anyone should be allowed on the Maori roll who isn’t demonstrably proficient in Maori. (Probably wouldn’t let anyone on the general roll who wasn’t similarly proficient in English either….)

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  31. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    DavidGarrett, apparently Ngata was ignorant of the fact that fluency in one language assisted in learning others. One wonders what Maori proficiency in English and wider education would have been but for his error.

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  32. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Mikey: I believe Ngata would be horrified at what has become of the Maori race…He would be busy telling anyone who would listen “I told you so” re Maori and welfare, and he would be hugely saddened by the number of Maori in prison…But I strongly suspect he would have harsh words for the leaders of the Maori race rather than blaming everything on the honkey…For example I suspect he would speedily re-constitute the Maori Battalion, and give them the task of dealing to the scum in the Mongrel Mob who debase the proud history of Maori in warfare – particularly in WW II – by “sieg heiling” each other..

    What do you think?

    SPC: Another one who doesn’t read properly..Ngata envisaged his race being bi-lingual: Maori at home, and English at school and in the workplace.

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  33. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Ngata was … equally strongly opposed to Maori being allowed in licenced premises…and until the 1950′s (I think) they weren’t.

    The Maori Community Development Act 1962, still in force, gives Maori Wardens the power to enter licenced premises, and to instruct staff not to serve quarrelsome (etc.) Maori, and also the power to eject quarrelsome Maori from licenced premises.

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  34. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I think Ngata would endorse some things (Maori Language Commission, the Maori Party, Treaty settlements, Kohanga Reo) and condemn others (welfare dependency, gangs).

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  35. Longknives (4,753 comments) says:

    Pathetic PC nonsense! I’d rather pay full price (or even better go somewhere else) than supplicate and pander to the Maori activists who are tearing this once great nation apart..

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  36. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    DavidGarrett, envisanged … . So how accurate was his view, that Maori would be learnt in the home, and thus it would better for their learning of English if it was banned from schools?

    It’s likely the attitude to the use of Maori in schools had a negative impact on Maori passing on their language to their children in the home. And the consequences for the negative attitude to Maori identity in schools may have undermined their mana as learners. Something we have had to redress since.

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  37. Steve (North Shore) (4,563 comments) says:

    I would rather pay the normal price and not have Moari bullshit rammed down my throat.
    Good marketing by the owner – the target is the stupid who will go for 50c discount, and who vote Labour/Greens.
    Anyway, coffee is shit, I drink tea old boy

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  38. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    This cafe on Latte Island is going to get a mile of free publicity from this gimmick.

    However, David Garrett is on the mark with his point about having to invent new Maori words for hundreds, probably thousands of words, from modernity.

    Maori would have more chance of surviving if it just adopted English words it didn’t have. Far, far bigger and entrenched languages like Japanese do this, and English has done it as the British empire then America spread out. For example, English from the subcontinent’s Hindu and Urdu: “bangle, cot, dinghy, jungle, pundit, pyjamas, shampoo, verandah, thug ….” and many more words

    Modernity – not the vague concept of “colonialism” – is thinning out the world’s languages. We’re lucky to have the present lingua franca, English, as our main tongue.

    Meanwhile, what is becoming of our third official language: signing. The politicians etc seem to have given up on having signallers beside them as they talk. Internet and captioning in English (or whatever) must make the deaf far less reliant on sign language. Like those declining languages, semaphore and Morse, technology is its enemy.

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  39. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Graeme: Interesting…I’ll bet you a penny to a pound that almost no Liquor licence holders know that…One wonders how a Warden would get on down at the Viaduct at 2 am…

    But more seriously, it pisses me off hugely that this “we were hit for speaking Maori at school” thing is Always allowed to qo unqualified and unexplained …the suggestion is always that the horrible colonizing honkey was responsible for the policy…You never hear Ranginui Walker and other Maori leaders saying even ever so quietly “actually it was our greatly respected rangitira’s idea…”

    SPC: Oh dear…” … undermined their mana as learners”…how old are you? 25 ish?

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  40. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    The Orewa speech force is just as strong as it once was in the party currently in coalition with the Maori Party.

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  41. nasska (11,526 comments) says:

    The cafe on Waiheke Island is an excellent idea. It will keep all the well off, over educated bleeding heart wankers who profess a love of all things Maori in one place & leave a few seats at other establishments for the less pretentious.

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  42. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    David Garrett, are you seriously arguing that a government is not responsible for the policy applied in state schools because some Maori supported/proposed the policy?

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  43. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    SPC: As well as being awfully PC you are clearly rather ignorant of our history…Prior to the urbanization of the 50’s and 60’s most Maori lived outside the cities…particularly up the East Coast where Ngata was from…Maori was the language spoken in the Maori home, and old people frequently spoke little or no English.

    The urban drift that occurred in the 60’s certainly changed that…obviously a person who was not fluent in English – or reasonably so – would have had limited job opportunities in the city..No doubt there were then Maori parents who saw any speaking of Maori as a retrograde step, and to be discouraged…but that’s a result of their own view on what was best for their kids, and not some sinister honkey plot…

    And indeed it’s not easy maintaining bi-lingualism…I am very sad that my daughter, whose first language was Tongan, now doesnt speak a word of it, although she understands when her Gran speaks to her. My wife tried to keep her speaking Tongan but she just refused, and when spoken to in Tongan would answer in English…I guess we could have thrashed her in the approved Tongan fashion, but I doubt you would approve of that…

    Oh and Ngata was not “some Maori”…he was a highly educated man, being the first New Zealander to earn a double degree…He was also a Cabinet Minister in successive governments…Go at least to Mr Google young man…learn something before you open your trap and display your ignorance…

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  44. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Waiheke Island – bit of a bastard name, isn’t it, when Maori for “island” is moutere?

    $1 off the one-day fare to the island for those who ask for a ticket to Waiheke Moutere?

    And, in the spirit of inter-language adoption, we will call the islanders Waiheke Mutants.

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  45. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    DavidGarrett, er we are well aware of what happened and why Ngata was wrong. That was apparent even before the urban drift. As the school educated spoke English in their homes and their children only spoke Maori to their grandparents.

    Agreed it is not easy maintaining bilingualism unless this is supported in the education system and or via public media.

    Which is why an official language should be available for learning in schools to those who want it.

    I think that the resort to arrogant condescension in your posts may explain why ACT is where it is.

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  46. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Who’s this “We” white man? I am pretty sure your view of the world is very different from mine…I don’t believe Ngata was “wrong” at all…excepting perhaps in his being a bit optimistic regarding the transformative effect on NZ society of the Maori Battalion’s huge sacrifice in WW II..

    And yes, I picked up your dig about the Orewa speech (unlike you I read posts carefully before criticising them)…I havent a clue what offical ACT policy is on the ideas expressed therein, but I personally think Brash was spot on…having racially based seats in our multi cultural country is an anachronistic abomination, and they should be abolished forthwith…

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  47. itstricky (1,835 comments) says:

    I would rather pay the normal price and not have Moari bullshit rammed down my throat.

    Which is your choice. But, do tell, how is this cafe forcing anything down your throat?

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  48. itstricky (1,835 comments) says:

    It will keep all the well off, over educated bleeding heart wankers who profess a love of all things Maori in one place & leave a few seats at other establishments for the less pretentious.

    I would say collecting Rare lavendar Royal Dolton is more pretentious than learning a language. But hey.

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  49. nasska (11,526 comments) says:

    I go along with you there itstricky…..the owners of the cafe in question are quite within their rights & they’re not forcing anything down anyone’s throat.

    Being in total contrast to say “Te Papa” which swallows tax payers money in the fashion of a voracious shark yet gets precious about menstruating (probably taxpaying) women viewing their stone age rubbish.

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  50. dog_eat_dog (781 comments) says:

    Guy decides Maori is important.

    Guy decides to do something to boost profile of Maori language using his own resources and business.

    Well, shit.

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  51. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    DavidGarrett, its the aggressive and arrogant tone I was referring to as to why ACT is electorally challenged.

    And the we refers to history being something anyone can observe. Ngata was still alive when Maori spoke English in their home to their children and they only spoke Maori to the grandparents. So he was demonstrably wrong on evidence before he died on Maori surviving in the home. As we can appreciate as this is a fact.

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  52. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Dog: Quite so…although I suspect Hinemoa, Mrs PC Cafe owner, may have had a fair bit to do with this marketing idea…and what a good one! As the comments on here have shown, every greenstone wearing liberal leftie visiting Waiheke will be making a bee-line for this place…not for the paltry discount, but to show how wonderfully “bi-cultural” they all are…

    SPC: Aggressive? Shit man, you must have led a very sheltered life! And You never did confirm my suspicion that you are a mere stripling…

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  53. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Some good posts on Ngata here, cheers DG, honestly SPC that Maori language disallowed in schools shit is 101.

    I know the cafe they speak of – I’m a regular visitor to the island. It’ll go down a treat with many local luvvies over there; there are many tons of giant pounamu carvings hanging round the aching necks of all the (white) phoneys on Waiheke – they will just lap it up.

    It would be interesting to nip over to the local Marae down on the beach there to see what they think or even if they have a part in it. I have known many Maori over the years who just roll about laughing after some earnest, well meaning whitey leaves after trying so hard to hongi and use their words pronounced the best they can. They know when you’re trying too hard.

    Still, I’ll avoid the place from now on, because this particular decision shows who they are. I now know exactly what their politics are.

    The proprietors will be pro Green, probably pro Mana, pro Dotcom, pro Zaoui, Bain Was Innocent, anti mining, anti farming, anti everything I stand for and (like on Dragon’s Den) for that reason, I’m out.

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  54. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    duggledog, how well did disallowing Maori in schools work for Maori education? Fact is Ngata was wrong, and when government policy is wrong, it’s government that owns that mistake.

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  55. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Duggle: “tons of pounamu.. hanging around the aching necks of the whitey phoneys..” Excellent.

    As I have noted on here before, whenever Mad Cath Delahunty was speaking in the House in her pidgin Maori/English I used to watch the reaction of the Maori Party members who were my benchmates…Without exception Hone always completely ignored her; Flavell and Katene usually did (they were busy eating lollies)…occasionally Tariana would give Delahunty a somewhat amused smile…

    It was both comical and sad…Cath was so keen to be a guilt ridden member of “te tangata tiriti”, and to accept personal blame for all the ills besetting the Maori people…and the MP members couldnt give a rat’s backside…I think it was the fact that they just ignored her was the saddest…they certainly used to react to my speeches!!

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  56. Unity (584 comments) says:

    Surely it was up to the parents to preserve the Maori language in the home. That’s where all the other languages prosper – they are learned from the cradle. If they didn’t think it important enough to teach to their children, then that’s their choice, but don’t expect me to pay for it now.

    Ngata was very correct, otherwise how would the children have got on in the education system as well as becoming civilised from their Stone Age beginnings and being able to cope in the real world? The ones who were wrong were the parents for not teaching their children at the breast. This is how it still should be and not the State’s responsibility to preserve a language that is of absolutely no use to anyone in the big wide world.

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  57. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Unity: Exactly. Chaps like SPC dont like to hear it, but every Chinese family in NZ has bilingual children…and if there is any Mandarin language school it certainly isnt government funded…And despite being strangers in a strange land, their kids all do very well in school…how is that?

    Even out here in rural KKK we have them…the proprietors of the local grocery/liquor store…Mum and Dad speak very rudimentary English…the oldest daughter is doing a PhD in some obscure branch of physics in Melbourne; the son – who is a graduate in both law and Engineering – has put his career on hold to help mum and dad in the shops..the youngest son is the top of his class at high school…theirs is a stereotypical but nevertheless totally genuine example…How on earth did they manage all that without any “funding” and without the assistance of a non existent Chinese Language Commission??

    SPC, the floor is yours…

    Oh, I forgot the gravy stroke…All three kids converse in Mandarin as well as English..and they understand the other Chinese language, the name of which escapes me for a moment…

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  58. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Maori language isn’t important really. Hate to say it but it’s of import to 1/2 of f*** all New Zealanders, if they were honest, even Maori. It’s just… useless. Where, outside a government department, is it any use at all? Every single Maori speaker can speak English so… why would you learn it, when for every Maori word there are probably ten more in English with far more nuance and meaning?
    It doesn’t make sense to me but hey whatever floats one’s boat. The one value it does have, is that being able to speak it tells me a lot about you, especially if you’re a white Euro. I mean just read mad Delahunty’s maiden speech in Parliament

    Maori culture is kind of cool though, I can’t imagine a New Zealand without it. I like the history a lot, I like the carvings, the wakas, the myths & legends, all of that, and I like the tangis – now that’s a send off, unlike the traditional sad old send-off my forebears endured when someone fell off their perch.

    I like the way they bury the placenta and plant a tree on top, I’ve done that for all my kids.

    Long term, I reckon the language won’t thrive, it will only survive among a small group of speakers who will keep it alive as a hobby – and bicker for all time about what the correct pronunciation or spelling of particular words is! I mean, if they’ve had the vast amount of money spent on it that they have already and STILL nobody speaks it then it’ll never happen. Nobody watches Maori TV. Like DPF once posted, it would be cheaper to give every regular viewer a cheap little car every two years.

    One day all the nice to haves like TPK will have to be disbanded, and you just know the many monolithic Maori organisations with all their cash won’t be putting their own money into keeping it alive.

    That’s what I reckon – BUT, the culture will live on indefinitely. Kiwis will all use words like ‘hapu’, ‘he’s a bit hoha’ ‘bro’ ‘kiaora’ etc for all time and we’ll be distinctive because of it. Chur!

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  59. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    The Maori language is useless, absolutely useless. To those who want to learn it, I can only wish them good luck.

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  60. nasska (11,526 comments) says:

    Odd really. I have Scots lineage yet so far I’ve dodged any urge to blame the fact that I can’t speak Gaelic or play the bagpipes for any of my cockups.

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  61. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    SPC what the hell are you talking about? What does not allowing Maori to be spoken in schools have to do with achievement? The problems Maori kids face in schools have the same root cause now as they had then. Here’s one reason; they don’t turn up. Or they are disruptive. Or their parents didn’t bother to get out of bed and make their lunches.

    You definitely grew up in an area or went to a school without the cuzzy bro’s.

    Hey and by the way, there are a bunch of Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese etc kids at my kids’ school. Lots of them have very poor English and guess what, they shit all over kiwi kids

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  62. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Someone tell me the name of the other major Chinese language…its pissing me off that I cant remember….I think it’s because I got caned a lot at Edmund Campion College..

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  63. nasska (11,526 comments) says:

    Cantonese DG?

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  64. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Nasska: That’s it, thanks…but didnt you get caned a fair bit too? And I didnt even get interfered with by Brothers Maurus and Bede (one died before he could be prosecuted, the other one did two years)

    But where’s SPC? Have we scared him off by being too “aggressive”??

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  65. jp_1983 (213 comments) says:

    labours new policy
    all government departments shall speak to customers in maori from 8.00 -1200 monday and wednesday.

    if you speak english we wont serve you

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  66. nasska (11,526 comments) says:

    DG

    Smacked around the ears, hit by chalk dusters, strapped, caned & expelled…..fortunately I went to a protestant training camp masquerading as a boarding school so sodomy wasn’t ‘del rigueur’.

    Off topic but did you get that website link I put up the other day about your ESET NOD32 problems?

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  67. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    jp: I suspect young SPC might think that’s a capital idea…

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  68. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    “If you want to speak Italian you can go to Italy and immerse yourself in the language but there’s no place you can really go to speak te reo Maori.

    If there’s no place you can go to really speak Maori, then there isn’t any reason or need to learn it, other than wanting to speak it as a novelty language.

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  69. SGA (1,045 comments) says:

    David Garrett at 6:49 pm

    Unity: Exactly. Chaps like SPC dont like to hear it, but every Chinese family in NZ has bilingual children…

    Little overstated – I know NZ-born chinese with chinese parents and practically no mandarin or cantonese. As a general rule, if there’s enough of a concentrated community, and intermarriage is low, the language will hang around. Intermarriage is the real killer – the home language is dominated by the language of the mono-lingual parent (it’s hard to avoid and it takes a real dedication to overcome).

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  70. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Nasska: No I didnt get your message…but my IT man eventually figured out it was because I had an older version of the ESET software…things are working now, touch wood…and entirely against my will I have upgraded to a super duper lots of RAM new computer running Windows 8…How on earth does Harvey Norman make any money of a FIVE YEAR interest free deal for the cash price?? Why would you pay cash?

    SGA: I know its anecdotal evidence, but the Chinese family I refer to out here are the only Chinese within 20 k’s…and as i say, all three kids speak to their parents in Mandarin, and to customers in English.

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  71. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Where is that poor sensitive chap SPC?? Perhaps he is boning up on the life and times of Sir Apirana Ngata…

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  72. SGA (1,045 comments) says:

    David Garrett at 7:31 pm

    SGA: I know its anecdotal evidence, but the Chinese family I refer to out here are the only Chinese within 20 k’s…and as i say, all three kids speak to their parents in Mandarin, and to customers in English.

    Sure – don’t doubt that for a second – but “every Chinese family in NZ has bilingual children” is a bit of a stretch :-) . Granted, I’m sure many do. What’s interesting is what happens over the next generation or two, especially if the children marry non-chinese. I suspect that certain “base mass” communities (e.g., the world’s “little italys”, “chinatowns”, the hispanics in the USA) are probably needed to ensure survival.

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  73. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    DavidGarrett, immigrant Chinese families have bilingual children – esp so if there is a grandparent with them (as immigration policy allows). Will this survive more than a generation? It did not for many Maori, even when they lived in Maori communities – and this all preceded urban drift and inter-marriage.

    You are surely aware that ACT is in coalition with a government that funds Maori Television and has Maori as an official language – is ACT going to run on a policy to end this?

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  74. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    SPC: ACT isn’t in coalition with anyone…confidence and supply agreements are emphatically NOT coalition agreements..Mate, I’d just quit now if I were you…You really are making quite the fool of yourself…and youth only excuses so much…

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  75. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    David Garrett, so a coalition involving both ACT and the Maori Party is not possible? Now why would that be?

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  76. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    SPC

    Let it go mate. It’s over.

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  77. prosper (167 comments) says:

    I know several Dutch families kids born in Holland came to NZ when the kids were primary school age understand Dutch but never speak it. When they visit Holland they struggle. Unfortunately the Dutch are so bloody good at English every body in Holland starts speaking English. So I can understand the Maori losing their language especially when a large number are also of mostly European descent.

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  78. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    duggledog, no. I am interested as to why Garrett is so vehement on the issue, is this an issue that ACT is going to play later in the year etc. As for the related paternalism playing the elder whom some characterised junior should respect etc, all while citing Ngata who was clearly wrong on this, all very revealing.

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  79. Johnboy (16,597 comments) says:

    I think it’s really neat that precious, trendy folks that run a cafe on trendy Waiheke Island have come up with this idea. :)

    I hope they franchise it down to Wainui, Taita or Cannons Creek so they can get mugged in whatever local language rules by the natives when they try to charge extra for non comprehende da lingo! :)

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  80. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Johnboy, if a bar in Wainui sold Tui at a lower price if the order was in Maori, you would be wearing a grass skirt while doing so.

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  81. Johnboy (16,597 comments) says:

    Wrong again SPC I only drink Scotch or Gin! :)

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  82. itstricky (1,835 comments) says:

    The Maori language is useless, absolutely useless. To those who want to learn it, I can only wish them good luck.

    Call the Press! People do stuff even though there is no financial gain attached to it! Such things have never been heard!

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  83. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Itstricky

    The difference is, there is a financial DRAIN attached to Maori language – to the tune of millions and millions per annum.

    Paid for by the overwhelming majority who don’t care two shits about it.

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  84. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Johnboy, my mistake I thought those purchases were your investment in sheep abstinence.

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  85. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    duggledog, while the Maori language is seen as a taonga of Maori it will be supported by the Crown. Treaty and all that.

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  86. Johnboy (16,597 comments) says:

    When pretentious folk welcome me with “Kia ora” on the phone I always reply “Ciamar a tha thu” :)

    It’s Scottish Gaelic for “Hello”….. Gets the pricks every time! :)

    (Pronounce it “Kimarahow”) :)

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  87. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Johnboy, try saying slainte to those speaking Mandarin.

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  88. Johnboy (16,597 comments) says:

    I don’t drink milk so I’ll leave that to Judith SPC! :)

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  89. Johnboy (16,597 comments) says:

    Oidhche mhath all! :)

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  90. Unity (584 comments) says:

    Mandarin and Cantonese, I think, David. Does that sound right?

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  91. OneTrack (3,108 comments) says:

    SPC – “while the Maori language is seen as a taonga of Maori it will be supported by the Crown”

    Kerching.

    There’s your problem. Maori can’t keep their own language going themselves (how hard can it be), but the taxpayers must pay…… And you still wonder why the rest of the population are turned off?

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  92. itstricky (1,835 comments) says:

    Paid for by the overwhelming majority who don’t care two shits about it.

    Oh, the agony of living in a country with a unique culture! If we could all look, feel and be the same, then we would save millions!

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  93. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    OneTrack, but then indigenous birds, animals and fish and the entire conservation estate mean nothing to those who just want to fish, drill and mine for profit unencumbered by any restraint.

    Just as business activity regardless of impact on the coastline and the waterway, just makes us all but a few the poorer – yet still there are those who support this.

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  94. SGA (1,045 comments) says:

    itstricky at 9:48 pm

    If we could all look, feel and be the same, then we would save millions!

    Huh? What do you mean… chinese?

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  95. SGA (1,045 comments) says:

    OneTrack at 9:43 pm

    Maori can’t keep their own language going themselves (how hard can it be)

    Very, if history is anything to go by. Just look at how easily Spanish extinguished indigenous languages over parts of the world (and similarly English to a certain extent). Closer to many of our ancestry, some people in the British Isles are struggling to preserve the Celtic languages. I’ve no idea how successful they’ll be.

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  96. ManuT (54 comments) says:

    Ban on talking Maori in schools? There was no such thing; ask your grandparents, I did and half them are Maori.
    I cannot stand this intolerant separatism. Learn any language you want and good on you. One day my friends will act around me as they do around anybody else. New Zealanders should stand together and cull all separatists of culture and race. I am tired of it all.

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  97. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    OneTrack (1,950 comments) says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 9:43 pm
    SPC – “while the Maori language is seen as a taonga of Maori it will be supported by the Crown”

    Kerching.

    There’s your problem. Maori can’t keep their own language going themselves (how hard can it be), but the taxpayers must pay…… And you still wonder why the rest of the population are turned off?

    Ahh the long suffering taxpayer. Forever bemoaning “that” group for spending all the money.

    Some key facts may be in order:

    Budget 2013 funding for Maori language:

    $77 million through direct funding of broadcasting to promote Maori language and culture
    $2 million of research and promotion etc. of Maori language

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2013/estimates/115.htm

    Size of 2013 budget: 72.4 billion

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2013/taxpayers/01.htm#_crownexp

    Or in other words Maori language is about 0.1% of the budget. Probably about the same (or less) than is spent on other arts and culture from ballet to the symphony orchestra to film and television to sports.

    For some reason I see little antipathy towards ballet… or the orchestra… or film and television… or sports. I wonder why that is… I wonder why Maori language and culture is singled out for special attention and condemnation. I suppose that will forever remain a mystery. :)

    One other key fact:

    Size of tourism industry: 9.8 billion (2013)

    http://www.tianz.org.nz/main/key-tourism-statistics/

    Maybe some of those tourists are coming to see one of the few things that is truly unique to this country.

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  98. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Oh noes!

    If you go to that cafe, you might get a bit of Maori on you!

    I’m sure there’s a way to make this about my tax money….

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  99. prosper (167 comments) says:

    SPC. I make similar but opposite comments to you on The Standard and get kicked off. Labour/Greens do not tolerate or debate an opposing view. Disappointing.

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  100. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    prosper, on this thread my opinions would be mainstream National Party caucus, I cannot name one party in parliament that does not support

    1. Maori as an official language.
    2. a policy of making Maori available for those who want to study it.
    3. funding of Maori TV and Maori Language Commission.

    I looked at the ACT site, given Garrett’s posture, but there is nothing on these issues.

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  101. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    @DG “Unity: Exactly. Chaps like SPC dont like to hear it, but every Chinese family in NZ has bilingual children…and if there is any Mandarin language school it certainly isnt government funded”

    You’d be surprised how quickly Mandarin is being lost by young people in the NZ Chinese born community. I constantly hear from my ethnically han friends that their NZ born children, esp teenagers simply aren’t interested in it and don’t speak it to anyone but their grandparents. It’s much the same story you described with your Tongan daughter.

    Their language skills die with their grandparents.

    As for Maori, like any other language Darwin’s rules apply; it either serves a purpose and survives, or doesn’t and dies. Money can’t change that.

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  102. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    “Ban on talking Maori in schools? There was no such thing”

    You are calling former Archbishop and Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves a liar. He has stated that he was banned by his teachers from speaking Maori on his school grounds. Dozens of other elderly Maori of impeccable character have told me the same thing. Try not to bullshit.

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  103. David Garrett (7,292 comments) says:

    Amusing how SPC slowly but surely indentified himself as a hard leftie during the course of last night’s discussion…The reason ACT could never be in coalition with the Maori Party dear boy is not that we are racists – as you desparately tried to imply – but simply that the MP exists to take advantage of race based seats to which we are strongly opposed.

    And as for your citing supposed polices of the “mainstream National Party caucus”, the Nats’ policy prior to the 2008 election was exactly the same as ours – abolish the Maori seats forthwith…As it has transpired the poll driven National Party sees no votes in doing that, so they have quietly abandoned that policy…ACT – for better or worse – is a party of principle, and those principles are not abandoned lightly…which may yet, as you suggest, be the death of the outfit…

    Manu T: I must respectfully disagree…if you go back to the 1920’s -50’s there is no doubt Maori was banned in schools…the issue is at whose behest that policy was in force – and it was Ngata and his advisors, not the colonizing Honkey…I think even young SPC grudgingly admits that that is so…

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