MEDIA STATEMENT - 07 July 2016
Māori Party Co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell say they appreciate the New Zealand Herald’s apology for declining to publish a memorial notice in te reo.
When Te Atarangi Whiu wanted to place a memorial notice in te reo to mark the one-year passing of her mother, te reo Māori educator Te Iria Whiu, her request was denied. She was told it could only be printed if she translated it, as per the company’s policy, and paid for the translation to also be printed.
Mr Flavell says: “It was gravely disappointing it happened, particularly in Māori language week, but they’ve recognised the mistake, apologised and are quickly rectifying the issue.”
“The Herald is in a privileged position as our largest newspaper and should be a leading example of encouraging people to use and promote te reo, so it’s good to see them respond to this so positively,” he says.
Mrs Fox says: “It is disheartening to think that it takes an outcry such as has been evident in the past few days in order to effect these changes.”
“Rather than judging them for the mistake they made I’d rather judge them for how they’ve responded. They’ve apologised to Ms Whiu, offered to place the ad for free, immediately changed their advertising policy, and have offered to name it after the late Mrs Whiu.”
“This is a welcome sign that the future of te reo Māori is heading in the right direction,” she says.
“It was also pleasing to read that the Herald say they ‘recognise and respect Te Reo is the language of our people’,” she says.
The Māori Party also applauds the New Zealand Herald’s suggestion in today’s editorial that te reo should be a core subject at preschools and primary schools.
Media contacts: For Marama Fox, Erena Temara, 021 859 773 For Te Ururoa Flavell, Sean Gillespie, 021 992 315