The Māori Party joins with all reo warriors tonight to celebrate the passing of the second reading of the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill.
For the second time in Parliament’s history, a dual language bill was introduced in to the House, but for the first time ever, the Māori language version prevails in the event of conflict over interpretation between the two versions.
“This ground-breaking bill will be enacted in both Māori and in English, but te reo will have mana in law over the English translation version. The Bill will also introduce a new way for the Crown, Iwi and Māori to work together on Māori language revitalisation,” says Māori Party Co-leader, Te Ururoa Flavell.
Members of Parliament voted 109 votes in favour of the Bill tonight, with only twelve NZ First MPs opposed.
“MPs from across the House spoke in favour of the Bill and in her address, Nanaia Mahuta made reference to the approach taken to strengthen it. She referred to Robert Frost’s poem about taking the road less travelled. I couldn’t agree more with her sentiments that while the road less travelled was indeed a difficult one at times, it has made all the difference.” says Te Ururoa Flavell.
“The Māori Language Bill has been strengthened thanks to submissions from the public, the Māori Affairs Committee and through the significant efforts and contribution of the Māori Language Advisory Group Te Rōpū Tohutohu Reo” says Te Ururoa Flavell.
“Their kōrero identified that tāngata whenua needed more say over the future of the language, and that the Crown was also accountable for the survival of te reo,” says Marama Fox. “They have also ensured that meaningful expression has been brought to Te Mātāwai to ensure that provisions for revitalising our reo are enduring”.
“The Bill was introduced to the House by former Co Leader Hon Dr Sir Pita Sharples in 2014 with the aim of putting te reo Māori back in to the hands of our people. I pay tribute to him and many other reo Māori stalwarts who have worked tirelessly to halt the decline of our reo and I look forward to the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill returning to the House for its third reading” says Te Ururoa Flavell.