September 14, 2022
Year of Foon a reo fest
Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon says he’s proud to have a documentary about him programmed as part of the 50 year anniversary of the Maori Language Petition.
A Year In The Life Of Meng premiered on Whakaata Māori last night.
It follows the former Gisborne mayor through lockdowns, illness and personal ups and downs.
Mr Foon says growing up in Gisborne he felt sad for his Māori friends at school who were discouraged from speaking Māori by their parents, while he learned both te reo and Chinese from his own whanau.
He says Aotearoa need to take the next step and make reo Māori compulsory at school.
“We live in a Maori country, right, and so a lot of immigrant people say to me ‘why aren’t they teaching Maori as a compulsory subject, what’s wrong with this country?’ I’ve supported other lobbies of other people to seek that the Maori language is taught at schools at a compulsory level, especially at primary school,” Mr Foon says.
A Year in the Life of Meng is streaming now on Whakaata Māori On Demand.