July 04, 2014
Reo row new low in relationship
New Zealand Maori Council co-chair Maanu Paul says relations between the Government and the council have fallen to a new low with the tabling of the new Maori language bill.
The council’s recent revival has faced opposition from Government ministers, with Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples in particular preferring to build up the Iwi Leaders Group, which has official status.
Dr Sharples had got support from the Iwi Leaders for a new body, Te Matawai, to oversee the agencies responsible for promoting te reo, but the council wanted the Waitangi Tribunal to measure the plan against treaty principles.
Mr Paul says by rushing the bill into parliament Dr Sharples has stymied the council's efforts to an urgent hearing.
Maanu Paul says Dr Sharples’s bill actually gives power over te reo Maori to bureaucrats in the Ministry for Maori Development rather than to iwi or Maori generally.
The New Zealand Maori Council has asked Dr Sharples and Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson to put a resolution before the House to refer the bill to the Waitangi Tribunal for examination as to whether it is consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
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