Topic: Te Reo Māori

Support for Dover Samuels' claim to Tribunal

By Heta Gardiner
  • Northland

The Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell is supporting Dover Samuels' claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, addressing among other things being beaten for speaking Māori at school.

Flavell feels an apology is warranted, though not everyone is so convinced.

These histories are on our school whiteboards.  But some feel that it's not enough.

“I hear his cries about how he was treated when he was at school.  The Māori language is at the centre of his pain.  I support his pursuit of an apology from the government,” says Flavell.

Dover Samuels has taken up a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in regard to how he was treated for speaking Māori at school.

Flavell is now a part of the government but he feels the pain.

“The pain is still there in terms of what happened to our children in the past.  But not just for him, but for a generation of children.”

The minister's view is clear.  But not everyone agrees.

Kotuku Tibble is a teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna.  These histories are his bread and butter.  However, he doesn't really see the point of an apology.

Tibble says, “It's easy to say that the government needs to make an apology but what's the point?”

Tibble also feels as though this matter has already been settled.  “I would ask the question, why is this issue being re-ignited?  I thought that horse had already bolted.”

Establishing a scholarship for the descendants of those affected is one of Samuels' potential remedies.

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