Force the Govt’s hand on te reo Māori - Heather du Plessis-Allan

TV3 broadcaster, Heather du Plessis-Allan, says one week to celebrate Māori Language is plain tokenism and it’s time for New Zealanders to force the government’s hand.

The News Hub journalist and Story co-host said there was a wonderful engagement for one week and then nothing for the other 51 weeks of the year.

“If we continue to do Māori language week the way that we are, we’ll continue to feel as if we’re doing something when actually we’re doing nothing to save the Māori language.  So as long as there aren’t enough of us saying that we need to it, there is no need for a government to do it.” She said.

“Governments are not brave.  Governments don’t do things often, certainly, this Government doesn’t do anything that we don’t want it to do.  So we have to as a population really start to want this and I think, unfortunately, I don’t see it happening in the next decade. I think more of us need to get our voices up and say this is necessary in order to force their hand really.”

Heather du Plessis-Allan was speaking on Māori Television’s digital news show, Kawe Kōrero: Reporters, and said she supported making te reo learning compulsory in New Zealand schools.

“There are heaps of examples of other countries who are doing it.  Look at Wales, who made welsh compulsory in the early 90’s.”

Kawe Kōrero: Reporters speaks to broadcasters across the country, dissecting events and exploring the behind the scenes of newsgathering week nights on Te Reo channel 6.30pm, with subtitled replays on Māori Television 11.00pm.