November 20, 2023
PSA slams reo silence
The Public Service Association says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade needs to reverse its decision to remove te reo from ministerial correspondence.
Marcia Puru, the PSA’s acing kaihautu Māori, says the ministry seems to be a bowing to the racist rhetoric heard on the election campaign trail, and it risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti.
All ministries should be waiting for a clear direction from ministers who themselves should be upfront with the public about their commitment to te reo.
She says 300 MFAT workers have protested the change.
Ministries have a legal obligation under the Public Sector Act 2020 to support the Crown’s relationship with Māori, and to develop a workplace culture that supports Māori aspirations.
The New Zealand Māori Council says the gradual inclusion of te reo in all forms of communication at all levels of government has been an essential element of meeting the crown’s obligations to preserve Te Reo and protect the right of Māori to continue to use it as their principal language.
Any policy that seeks to reverse the integration of Te Reo Māori as an official language would be plainly unlawful and a breach of the Crown’s obligations under Te Tiriti.
It has sought a formal response from the chief executive that no such measures are to be taken at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.