Amendments made to Māori Language Bill, Te Mātāwai

By Heta Gardiner
  • Northland
  • South Island

There have been some developments around the Māori Language Bill, Te Mātāwai? An amendment has been made to the bill, which adds an acknowledgement from the Crown for their hand in the decline of te reo Māori.

The Minister of Māori Affairs Te Ururoa Flavell says, “It is an acknowledgement to Māori pains of years past, regarding the Māori language.

The announcement comes as a surprise as more changes to the bill were not expected. So the question remains, why?

According to Flavell it was something that came up through consultation around the country, “The adjustment throughout the bill are like that.”

The Green Party initially supported the bill first brought to the House by Sir Pita Sharples, after amendments were made. They also support the addition of an acknowledgement in the amendment. 

Green MP Marama Davidson says, “That has happened to ancestors across history, around the world, and here at home. My grandmother was hit by the government, by Pākehā.”

Iwi receive an apology from the Crown at the conclusion of their treaty settlements. This latest acknowledgement comes after a recent push by Dover Samuels via the Waitangi Tribunal, for an apology regarding punishment for speaking Māori being meted out in schools early last century.

“It's time we acknowledge the pains of the past,” says Flavell.

The amendment also stipulates the state's commitment to the promotion of the reo