June 18, 2019
Loud and proud on netball courts
A member of Māori language body Te Mātāwai says people trying to stop te reo being spoken on sports fields and playing courts are walking on Māori dreams.
The netball team from Tauranga's Te Wharekura o Mauao has had complaints made against it from competitors for speaking te reo.
Mereana Selby, who is chief executive at Te Wānanga o Raukawa, says her daughters faced similar criticism when playing under-10s netball in Levin 20 years ago.
That led to some sideline altercations.
"It certainly hit us as parents to the core because what was happening on that court, and I expect it's the same in Tauranga, is our dream. It's what we dreamed about, having our children doing all things in Māori, not just going to school and speaking Māori but getting out there and being loud and proud in the community. They didn't know they were being loud and proud. They were doing what they knew to do as a normality," she says.
Speaking te reo may well have given Mereana Selby's kōtiro some competitive advantage – Te Huinga Reo and Te Paea have represented New Zealand as Silver Ferns.
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