ELL: Maori News Bulletins

Nicholas Ostler nostler at chibcha.demon.co.uk
Mon Aug 9 10:23:29 UTC 1999

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Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 11:23:29 +0100
To: endangered-languages-l at carmen.murdoch.edu.au
From: Nicholas Ostler <nostler at chibcha.demon.co.uk>
Subject: ELL: Maori News Bulletins
Cc: tino-rangatiratanga at egroups.com, <tahuhu at mailcity.com>
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Here is the reply from Sharon Crosbie of Radio New Zealand to my letter
protesting at the withdrawal of Maori language news bulletins from this
public service network.

>Date: Mon, 09 Aug 1999 15:39:08 +1200
>From: "Heather Abbott" <HAbbott at radionz.co.nz>
>To: <nostler at chibcha.demon.co.uk>
>Subject: Maori News Bulletins
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Dear Mr Ostler
>Sharon Crosbie, Chief Executive of Radio New Zealand, has asked me to
>acknowledge your facsimile letter dated 17th July 1999 and responds as
>The debate about Maori language has arisen from a number of
>perspectives that will be difficult for external agencies to understand
>or appreciate.  It is correct that the Maori language news bulletins
>have ceased.  The Maori development agency which funded them deemed that
>National Radio might not be the most effective way of broadcasting Maori
>language news and redirected their support to the large network of 21
>iwi stations which broadcast in the reo language.  These were not in
>existence when National Radio first began broadcasting in reo.
>Being a publicly funded Crown-owned company with finite funding, we are
>not able to fund the news and news gathering elements of Maori language
>news as well as meet all the other elements of our Charter.  This
>requires us to promote Maori language and culture.
>However, the debate about the Maori language news, has somewhat lost
>sight of the wider issue which is that of the Maori language itself.  In
>cooperation with the Maori Language Commission and other interested and
>informed parties, we have devised new programming initiatives which are
>designed to encourage a greater degree of bilingualism.  For example,
>the 260 hours each year of Maori programming will include reo and
>English where appropriate in ways that make the use of the Maori
>language natural and accessible.  We are looking at ways we can continue
>Maori language on air that does not involve the more expensive news
>gathering elements of news bulletins.  These might be in the form of
>short comments, backgrounders, stories or anecodotes from Maoridom which
>are well presented and produced 'language gems' - in ways that attract a
>wide range of listeners.
>In addition, we contend that producing programmes about the language,
>its evolution, historical and contemporary usage, and documentaries and
>features about Maori people with interesting stories to tell and which
>include the Maori language as it is appropriate to do so, are
>potentially of greater interest to a much wider audience than a few
>minutes of Maori 'news' accessible to only a few.  These initiatives are
>far more likely to attract listeners to the richness and diversity of
>the language.
>Far from withdrawing from our obligations in this respect, we feel we
>are making every effort to promote the language more widely and
>Yours sincerely
>Sharon Crosbie

                       Nicholas   Ostler
						                Foundation for
                       Endangered Languages
		                         Registered Charity 1070616

					              Batheaston Villa,  172
					              Bailbrook Lane
					              BA1 7AA        England
					              fax +44-1225-85-9258
						                        nostler at chibcha.demon.co.uk

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