[lg policy] New Zealand: Brash says making Te Reo compulsory is 'pointless'

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 10 14:51:58 UTC 2011

Brash says making Te Reo compulsory is 'pointless'

Thu, 10 Nov 2011 10:47a.m.

ACT leader Don Brash says children would be better off learning other
languages than Maori, calling a Maori Party policy to offer the
language in all schools by 2015 "a very retrograde step". The Maori
Party unveiled the pledge in its manifesto, released last month, which
also includes a promise of a recruitment drive to get 200 Maori into
teaching. The language policy is under fire from Dr Brash, who told
Radio New Zealand on Thursday it would be a pointless exercise.

"There are a lot of languages which are important to New Zealand's
future, and I would rank, for example, Spanish or Chinese, well ahead
of learning te reo," he says. "Frankly, I don't want to make any
language compulsory, certainly not te reo."

Maori Party education spokesman Te Ururoa Flavell doubts the wider
public would agree with Dr Brash's stance. "Once upon a time everybody
did a big huge jump up and down about Hinewhi Mohi singing the
national anthem in Maori language. "Look where we are at the moment,
where everybody joins in."

The policy would mean making the language compulsorily available - but
not compulsory for students to take, he says. "That means people, if
they choose in, can take it. That's all, and it doesn't impact on
non-New Zealanders, Pakeha New Zealanders, anybody else.

"It's all about the revival and survival of Maori language."  Labour's
Kelvin Davis has given his backing to the idea. "I'd like to think
that every New Zealand child would love to be learning te reo Maori
right from the very start of their schooling, if not earlier.

"But as soon as you add the word `compulsion' to any argument the
likes of Don Brash and them crawl out of their holes and do sort of
polarise the debate." He says schools are likely to need longer than
just four years to implement the policy, but believes there are "a
heck of a lot of benefits", including for race relations, in the

Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Brash-says-making-Te-Reo-compulsory-is-pointless/tabid/419/articleID/232280/Default.aspx#ixzz1dJXsG9O4

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