Groser's support for te reo impractical, says Peters
Sat, 28 Apr 2012 6:20p.m.
By Jennifer Humphreys
Trade Minister Tim Groser has revealed his personal view that learning te reo should be compulsory in primary schools.
He made the comments on The Nation, when talking about New Zealand's growing relationship with China.
The minister said being able to speak and write in Maori would make it easier to learn other languages later in life.
Tim Groser concedes his idea is unusual for a National Party minister.
“My personal view is that we should be teaching Maori to every 5-year-old child,” he says.
“This is turning the usual pakeha argument on its head because what I think should happen is you should introduce very young children from New Zealand to the idea of bi-culturalism and more than one language. Then they will be able to learn other languages as their personal circumstances fit."
The minister for trade believes there are endless business opportunities with China, and languages could hold the key.
Children who become familiar with te reo at an early age could then master Chinese, Mandarin and any language they want in a move that could open doors for travel and work. While it's only an idea at the moment, it's gaining support.
“There's no question that people who are inducted into bi-lingualism at an early age, in early childhood, they have an intuitive understanding of languages and they have no problem learning a third and fourth language," says Maori academic Ranginui Walker.
Mr Groser says it's not just important to learn new languages, but new cultures as well.
“Once you've accustomed your mind to a different cultural space, you can learn,” he says.
Tim Groser says it's not his role to try to convince the Prime Minister of the idea, but he may also have a few more people to persuade.
New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters told 3 News it would never work because parents wouldn't buy into it and there are more important languages for children to learn.
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22/08/2012 7:51:49 p.m.
I was once forced to learn 4 languages at once and ended up hating lanaguages because I forced to learn them.
This idea is really stupid as Grosser wants people to learn Maori so they can learn other languages. Once they start learning the next language they will not bother keeping learning Maori.
Languages flourish through necessity and we are not bi-cultural society we are a multi cultural society,
The language is dying and will be dead as a spoken language in the not to distance future that day will be a good day.
19/05/2012 6:49:15 p.m.
Shen R wrote:
Tautoko...I've read some of the previous comments and most bring forward some good points.
I fully believe that maori should be taught in primary schools, simply because; not only is the maori language fading away but it will strengthen the reason why we are proud to be a NZer. Also it is very noticable that a majority of NZers can't pronounce maori properly (eg. 'Maori' is being pronounced 'marry'). Yes learning a language does mean learning more about a culture but that's what is needed to learn the ways of a language. financially there are many other priorities but it would be money well spent, because I've come across many international visitors very interested in the maori culture/language; so we gotta thank them for helping keep the Maori Culture alive.
1/05/2012 9:23:03 a.m.
Kania Worsley wrote:
Ka pai Mr Groser! He pono marika o whakaaro.Aue Mr Peters! He aha te take kaore koe e tautoko ana i to tatou reo rangatira?
1/05/2012 8:26:09 a.m.
Annette King wrote:
And should we (Maori) be eternally grateful for such expert advice coming from the biggest turncoat we have seen and heard, over how many decades since Peters has been in politics.
30/04/2012 9:52:17 a.m.
Brian T wrote:
Recently I observed a Maori friend of mine arguing with a Chinese student over Maori representation on different committees at different levels, to which I put in my support for it and said because of Maori self-determination in this country I got to understand through learning about meduseld/meadhall protocal in Anglo-Saxon literature about marae protocal and vice versa and I asked the Chinese student what the equivalent was for him in his culture and he referred to kong-si's/clan houses and I asked him about the protocals around them. Unfortunately he could not answer properly because he had been cut off from them and also because of difficulties he had in speaking English. Then not long after this I was with my Maori friend at McDonalds and he got into an argument with a Maori who was working there, which they were getting nowhere in resolving until they started speaking in Maori to each other, while referring to their whakapapa, which resulted in them resolving their argument. Then they started speaking English again and all three of us got to speaking about language and how it had been bastardised by becoming removed from culture and myth and legend. I asked the Maori who worked at McDonalds if he had ever heard of Old English and much to my surprise he said that he had because it was through it and its associated culture and myths and legends that his grandmother learnt to speak English because of her closeness to her iwi's language and culture and myths and legends and I recalled how once a young Chinese woman tried to learn English language and culture and myths and legends from me because of her own atunement with such things in her own culture and her disatisfaction with the English language learning course that she was doing. The upshot for me is that if people through education were more attune to the origins of the language and its associated culture, myths and legends there can be greater understanding between peoples and better trade etc between them.
29/04/2012 5:37:14 p.m.
Groser's idea isn't too bad but needs to expand just beyond language to associated culture, myth and legends and not just to one particular language and culture etc but to many. I wish we had something like that in our education system to deal with the problems that we are facing today. Take for example, the issues around land in this country. If my culture for example understood the iwi issues around land by understanding our own issues around land and other cultural issues around land maybe consortuims of Maori and English and Asian speaking people could find a way to accomodate each other more in public and private land ownership. Just imagine if the Michael Fay consortuim and a Chinese consortuim attune to kong-si protocals got together and the iwi group that is part of the Michael Fay group were successful in sorting out their treaty issues maybe somehing like Crafar farms can be owned jointly by the consortiums and a public interest in the land can be retained.
29/04/2012 5:28:14 p.m.
Ana, we actually have THREE official languages, English, Maori, and New Zealand Sign Language. Should the latter also be compulsory?
I didn't miss the point! I was merely suggesting that introducing young children to a range of languages is the best way to whet their appetite and increase the chances of them in time pursuing them further.
As to Maori, while it has very limited use outside the country I believe that all should at least do "the basics", not least of which is pronouncing it correctly!
29/04/2012 11:27:32 a.m.
Richard H wrote:
I agree with Bob...Tim Grosser is trying to win favour with a particular group.has anyone even asked if this man speaks any Maori.Come on Tim...dazzle us with your Te Reo skills.
29/04/2012 11:02:26 a.m.
Why Maori? My granddaughter has been learning Mandarin privately since her first year in school. This year at school her class is being given a taste of French and next year it will be German. The year after that she will start studying Mandarin on an ongoing basis. Thoughout all this time she has also been introduced to the Maori to the extent that she can greet people, introduce herself, and sing the National Anthem in Maori.
Opportunities along those lines would be better for children than just learning Maori.
29/04/2012 10:46:21 a.m.
Maori language is for ALL NZer's - NOT just Maori. Winston missed the point completely. Maori culture is used a highlight to sell our country. Go all the way I say - Make OUR national language compulsory.
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