Should Te Reo Maori be compulsory in all schools

Topics: New Zealand, Treaty of Waitangi, Māori Pages: 2 (534 words) Published: September 22, 2013
Discuss the proposal that Te Reo Māori be compulsory in all schools?

Te Reo Māori should not be compulsory in all schools though it should be available as an option. Te Reo Māori is one of the two official languages in New Zealand it’s also part of the school’s obligation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. In Article two of Te Tiriti o Waitangi it states. “Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangatira ki nga hapū – ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa.” (Busby, Wiremu 1840). The people and leaders of New Zealand have chieftainship of all lands, estate and treasures they own; Te Reo Māori is considered a tāonga a treasure.

If Te Reo Māori was to be compulsory in all schools then the beauty and uniqueness of the language would be lost. According to a famous whakataukī; “Ko tōku reo, tōku ohooho, tōku māpihi maurea, tōku whakakai marihi”. My language is my precious gift, my object of affection and my prized ornament of grace. If it is not compulsory, the Tangata whenua will have control over it; not a control where it would be limited to Māori but to those who have a true love or interest in the language and the culture.. Māori language and culture is necessary not only for the full personal development of Māori children but also to assist the Pākehā community to appreciate the history, achievements and character of Māori society. The Waitangi Tribunal did not recommend that Te Reo Māori be a compulsory subject in schools, or that all official documents be published in both English and Māori, “For we think it more profitable to promote the language than to impose it”. .

Te Reo Māori gives student’s access to Te Ao Māori and to Māori world views. Not only is learning Te Reo Māori an important skill for brain development but it also opens up an understanding of the culture. Dr Timoti Karetu is a fluent speaker of five different languages. Te Reo Māori being his native...
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