I was disappointed to see a letter from A N Christie (Letters, January 4) expressing dissatisfaction in regards to hearing a voice message in te reo Māori recently.
It may be useful for A N Christie to be mindful that while English is their preferred language, it is not the preferred language of many of our Rotorua community.
For too long te reo speakers have heard the English language prioritised in our everyday lives and te reo Māori omitted.
With a bit of patience and good faith on both sides, te reo Māori and the English language can both be enjoyed in our Reorua city. Tatau tatau.
I would like to commend Te Aka Mauri in how organically they have embraced te reo Māori and the Rotorua Reorua movement in their everyday business and continue to challenge themselves to make their service accommodating to all of us. Kai tawhiti Te Aka Mauri! Awesome.
Kerri Anne Hancock
Kauri shows the way
Sixty years ago a young student at the then FRI (Forest Research Institute) arrived at my door with a bucket containing the most tired kauri plant I had ever seen.
It was a stunted dwarf. He explained it was a castoff from the institute's kauri planting programme and would I like it.
It sat there for a week, sitting in clay.
I will never forget the bucket - one of those with an attachment to wring out a mop.
On a misty, wet, miserable day I planted out the runt. Today it is a magnificent tree dwarfing most trees in Lynmore.
As I sat in my garden chair this evening admiring the kauri I just thought: That's all our young people today need - a chance.
Māori weren't strapped for te reo
Letters to the editor January 8 refered to children being caned or strapped for speaking Māori at school, and being forced to speak English. Is this convenient history.
I do not recall any strapping happening during the time that I was at school and I am nearly 100 years old. I attended a number of country schools during my childhood and this is where one would expect to see this happen, if ever. Corporal punishment ceased in New Zealand schools in 1987.
What I did see when visiting my Māori mates during my school years was a couple of Māori mothers say quite forcefully to their children. "Do not speak Maori here English is the future for you."
Those days Māori and Caucasian people were friendly to each other, but over the past 25 or so years one sees that some people are working hard to drive a wedge between the races. Let us hope that they never succeed.
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