At their recent meeting Grey Power Whangarei gave their full support for the petition to have legislation passed to make English an official language of New Zealand, along with Maori and sign language. Although it is used every day in general conversation, business, education, news media and even Parliament, it is not our official language.

This petition is being circulated throughout New Zealand and will be presented to Parliament by Simon Bridges, MP for Tauranga, in the New Year. It will recognise the historical fact that New Zealand has been overwhelmingly English speaking since 1840 and it needs to be made our official language.

Apart from making it "official" it may help to improve teaching and use.

With the rapidly changing demographic of our population, there are now over 50 languages spoken and a large number of these are Asian, and a high percentage of those are Chinese.

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Whether we like it or not, we are now part of Asia. Eighty-five per cent of the UN Member nations have official languages, 53 per cent of those nations have adopted English.

Having it made one of our official languages would bring us into line with the rest of the world, and protect and reflect our founding heritage.

Don Nightingale
Publicity officer
Grey Power Whangarei

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