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E tu ki te kauwhau i te Reo Maori/ Speak up for te Reo Maori

Tena koutou katoa.

I enei tau ka hipa ake nei, ko te mahi a Te Herora he whakakahore i te putanga o te reo Maori i ona wharangi. Tetahi take i penei ai, ko nga ture o te tuhi mo te iwi whanui. Tona tikanga, ko nga kupu katoa ka taia ki tetahi niupepa, kia ngawari, kia marama ki nga tangata katoa, huri noa. I tenei ra, kua rukea tena ture ki tahaki. E kore e tino maha rawa te hunga hoko i tenei niupepa ka kaha ki te panui i tenei whakaputanga whakaaro, koia i whakapakehatia i raro iho nei. Engari me i wareware tatou ki te whakanui i te Reo i tenei wiki, e ai ki te whakaaro, ka he i reira, kua waiho te Reo i roto i te pouri.

He tika tonu tenei kupu 'whakanui' mo te Wiki o Te Reo Maori. Kua whai reo motuhake, reo ahurei tenei motu, na reira kua rangatira ko tatou katoa; he tika te ki, he taonga nui no te motu. Na tona whakamauitanga mai i enei whakatupuranga, kua kore ano e whakahemohemo. Engari kaore ano kia pumau mai tona toiora mo ake tonu atu.

Kei te whakamahara tonu Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Maori i a tatou katoa ka toru enei tau mai i te rangahau, i kitea ai 14 orau anake te hunga Maori, he tino mohio ki te korero Maori. Ki te tauria tenei ka eke ki nga kaikorero 18,000, o te papori Maori kotahi hawhe miriona. Tona tikanga kia kaua tenei taonga e waiho kia taka ki te paru, engari me hapai te kara o te reo, kia pai ai tona piupiu i te hau, ahakoa i waenga i nga whanau Maori, i te ao matauranga, ki hea noa iho i te ao hou nei.

Ki te hiahia tatou kia ora pai tetahi reo, kaua pea te tangata e kaha rawa ki te kauwhau i ona ture. Tenei matou te tapae nei i te whakaaro, he pai tonu kia kaua e kaha rawa te tata i nga reo irirangi a-iwi mo nga tapepatanga, me te'reo hou' e rangona ana i etahi wa i enei puna hou o te reo.

Kaore tenei mea te reo hauora e noho totoka i waenga i nga ahuatanga hou. Kei te piki haere te ora me te kaha o Te Reo i tenei ao hou, ko ona hangarau ka tomo noa mai, kahore he powhiri, kahore he tatari. Ki te kore nga kaikorero o enei ra e watea ki te kawe kupu mai, me nga kiwaha o enei ra, e kore te reo e tupu ki tona teitei.

I ata pera ano te reo Pakeha o Aotearoa ki te reo Maori, i huri ano hoki ki te tangotango i nga kupu Maori penei i te'mana,' kahore ke nei he tino ritenga ki te reo Pakeha. Kei tena reo, kei tena reo tona tohungatanga - me ona tino kupu whakatahuhu, whakaari hoki i ona whakaaro, ka tangohia e nga kaikorero o reo ke hei kupu ataahua ma ratou ano. Ina koa te kupu'nuance', i whaoina e te reo Pakeha ki roto i tana hopara kupu, mai i te reo Wiwi.

Me i tino mate nui te hunga korero Pakeha i Aotearoa ki te mohio, ki te ako hoki i tetahi reo tuarua, tera noa ake to ratou whainga mohio. He reo tuturu tonu to tatou i tenei whenua, tona tikanga kia ngotea mai e nga tangata katoa o Aotearoa me nga akoranga o te kura tuatahi. He kakama te tamariki, he horo ki te ako. Te tikanga kia mohio tatou katoa ki tona pai, kia noho hoki hei wahi o te matauranga o te toi whenua o te tangata.

He tika tonu kia mohio te whakatupuranga tuatahi o nga rawaho i tau mai ki Aotearoa ki te korero Maori, ki te titiro whakamua, haere he whakatupuranga, haere he whakatupuranga, ka ahei tonu tatou kia pera, kia reo-rua te katoa. Tatou ka whakanui i tenei wiki i te takoto watea mai o tera huarahi ki mua i o tatou aroaro.

Speak up for te Reo Maori

Not so many years ago the Herald resisted the use of Maori language in its columns. The reason arose from one of journalism's rules. Every word a newspaper uses ought to be generally and easily understood. Today we break that rule. Not many subscribers will be able to read the editorial above, necessitating this translation. But it would be odd to celebrate te Reo Maori this week without using it and contributing to its life.

Celebrate is the right word for Maori language week. A language that is found here and nowhere else in the world is a national treasure. Thanks to its revival by recent Maori generations it is no longer dying. But nor is its survival yet assured. The Maori Language Commission notes that a survey three years three years ago found only 14 per cent of Maori proficient in it. That amounts to about 18,000 fluent speakers among a Maori population of half a million. Much more must be done to encourage its use in Maori families, in education and in the wider environment.

For a language to live, though, its form should not be too strictly prescribed. Iwi radio stations and the like, should not be held to ancestral standards of pronunciation and purity. No healthy language resists change and external influences. Te Reo is recovering in a world where communications do not respect boundaries. The language will not live if users cannot import terms and modern idioms as they wish.

English in New Zealand has done exactly that with Maori, borrowing words such as mana that have meanings nothing in clear English can quite match. Every language contains word-gems that enable learners to think in shades of meaning unavailable in their native vocabulary. English speakers are richer for taking 'nuance' from the French.

English speakers would be richer still if they had a need to learn a second language. We have one in this country that all New Zealanders should absorb in primary school. The young learn easily and the rudiments of te Reo should be part of New Zealanders' common cultural currency. The first generation of New Zealanders needed to speak Maori, generations hence we could be bilingual again. This week we can celebrate the fact that the possibility is alive.