Joel Maxwell writes:
Putting aside age and actual achievement, the key difference is that I chucked it all in to learn te reo Māori fulltime. Right there is the only thing I think I’ve ever had over a high achiever.
So here is my challenge to Bridges: chuck it in too, if only for a year. Don’t wait – do it now, and you can go back to politics with a good, strong foundation in your language.
I know, it sounds like a joke. But it is a serious question for all Māori. Is anything more important than the fight to save te reo?
This shows what a privileged world Maxwell lives in, if he thinks there is nothing more important for Maori than saving te reo.
I’m a fan of te reo. I prefer the te reo version of the National Anthem. I think it is good for New Zealanders to know some te reo and I’m happy for taxpayer funding of the Maori Language Commission and Maori TV.
But to say that there is nothing more important for Maori than te reo is basically bonkers. Here’s nine things I’d say are inarguably more important:
- Lifting Maori educational achievement to the same level as non-Maori
- Reducing the crime and imprisonment rate of Maori to the same level as non-Maori
- Improving the health outcomes of Maori to the same level as non-Maori
- Reducing the Maori unemployment rate to the same level as non-Maori
- Reducing the domestic violence and child abuse rates among Maori
- Concluding the historic Treaty settlements
- Lifting incomes for Maori to the same rates as non-Maori
- Reducing welfare dependency among Maori families
- Reducing the material deprivation rate for Maori families