[lg policy] Wellington City council consulting with community to create te reo Māori policy

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 15:29:50 EST 2018


 Wellington City council consulting with community to create te reo Māori
policy

COLLETTE DEVLIN

Last updated 13:37, February 5 2018

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[image: Wellington’s Whairepo Lagoon was officially renamed by the New
Zealand Geographic Board in December 2015 - but is still ...]
STUFF

Wellington’s Whairepo Lagoon was officially renamed by the New Zealand
Geographic Board in December 2015 - but is still referred to as Franks
Kitts Lagoon.

Bilingual signs could be on the horizon in Wellington as the city looks set
to become New Zealand's te reo Māori capital.

Wellington City Council has set the goal to ensure the language is
"included and prioritised" in the city, so is taking the first step by
creating a draft policy.

A public consultation
<https://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/public-inputs/consultations/open/draft-te-reo-policy>for
the draft, Te Tauihu – Te Kaupapa Here Hukihuki Te Reo Māori, asks
Wellingtonians for ideas on how the council can celebrate the language.
[image: To help promote Whairepo Lagoon's Māori name, the council will
decorate the surrounding area with chalk Whairepo - the ...]
SUPPLIED

To help promote Whairepo Lagoon's Māori name, the council will decorate the
surrounding area with chalk Whairepo - the eagle rays that swim in the
lagoon in the warmer months.

The feedback will form the basis of an action plan for the city.






*READ MORE: * Frank Kitts Lagoon to become Whairepo Lagoon
<https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/68936868/Frank-Kitts-Lagoon-may-be-about-to-become-Whairepo-Lagoon>
* Corporates enticing te reo Māori educators away from classroom
<https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/101075769/corporate-world-enticing-te-reo-mori-educators-away-from-classroom>
* Massive upsurge in white New Zealand wanting to learn te reo
<https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/99662946/Massive-upsurge-in-white-New-Zealand-wanting-to-learn-te-reo?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter>
* Bill English says not up to govt to save 'someone else's language'
<https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/100631948/academic-says-te-reo-on-life-support-bill-english-says-its-not-up-to-govt-to-save-someone-elses-language>
* Don Brash clashes with Kim Hill over his te reo stance
<https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/maori-language-week/99472015/don-brash-clashes-with-kim-hill-over-his-te-reo-stance>*

Deputy Mayor Jill Day, who holds the Māori partnerships portfolio, said the
council wanted to gather as many ideas as possible on how it can make the
policy real.
[image: Wellington Deputy Mayor Jill Day, who holds the Māori partnerships
portfolio, said the council wanted to gather as many ...]
KEVIN STENT/STUFF

Wellington Deputy Mayor Jill Day, who holds the Māori partnerships
portfolio, said the council wanted to gather as many ideas as possible from
the public on how it can make its te reo Māori policy real.

"We are not going to tell Wellingtonians what the policy will be - it's
important we start the conversation in the community and for them to tell
us."

Signs were the instigator for a wide ranging policy, she said.

"It made us ask why don't we have signs that are bilingual - but we don't
want this to be a policy that is all about signage - we want to take it
further and focus on all the ways a language is seen and heard," she said.

The current plan for signs was to replace old ones with bilingual
versions when they needed renewing, and the policy would make it a priority
for the council, she said.
Ad Feedback
<http://stuff.co.nz/about-stuff/advertising-feedback/?pos=storybody&adsize=300x250&area=onl.stuff.dominionpost/news>


One area in the city, where a Māori name takes pride of place, is Whairepo
Lagoon - but two years after it was officially named by the New Zealand
Geographic Board, people still refer to it as Frank Kitts Lagoon, Day said.

To showcase how the policy can be enacted, Day took to the lagoon to show
Wellingtonians how they can visualise te reo in the city.

To recognise the name of the lagoon, the council will decorate the
surrounding area with chalk to say 'Whairepo' – designed by artist Reweti
Arapere.

"The Whairepo (eagle rays) that inhabit the lagoon are considered guardians
of the area, but many don't know about the Māori name of the lagoon or the
creatures that live in or visit the water," she said.

The council's consultation document states that te reo is an integral part
of the city and the policy was the council's public statement of commitment
to the language.

As the capital, the city was well placed as the natural home of te reo,
which should be recognised, the document says.

The policy will include contributing to Māori well being and incorporating
Māori perspectives in all policy work, as well as stimulating Māori
economic, social and cultural innovation.

The council wanted to set an example for the rest of the city, Day said.

"The big thing for us is showing leadership and commitment and saying as a
council, 'this is how we want to be in the community' - and inspire other
businesses to get involved and take some responsibility ... It's an
official language and we need to make sure we back it."

She dismissed recent criticism of the language and said it was everyone's
responsibility to keep the language going.

"Their [critics'] comments don't fly in the community anymore and people
are much more aware of their responsibility to revitalise te reo."

More people in Wellington were speaking and interested in te reo Māori but
to make it an everyday spoken language, was a long path, she said

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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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