Topics: Rereātea - Midday News, Te Reo Māori

Māori Law Society surprised at judge's te reo reaction

Pictured: Glenn Tootill, Māori Law Society co-president.

The co-president of the Māori Law Society (Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa) Glenn Tootill is commending the lawyer who introduced herself in te reo Māori while at the High Court in Auckland recently.

Crown lawyer Zannah Johnston's te reo Māori introduction led Justice Timothy Brewer to ask if she wanted an interpreter as he did not speak Māori and did not understand what she was saying.

Justice Brewer later asked if the lawyer was making a political stand. Johnston said it was Crown Law Office convention to use one of the nation's languages.

Tootill says the society is surprised at the judge's comments.  

"We're a bit surprised to see those comments. In this day and age, you know, introducing yourself in te reo is becoming more common."

"Obviously, it's the judge's place as to how they wish to adjudicate in their court, but a bit surprising to hear some of the comments that were made."

WATCH Kawekōrero's interview with Glenn Tootill here.