Maori language is not boring, John Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, August 2nd, 2015 - 146 comments
Categories: john key, Minister for International Embarrassment, national, Politics, same old national - Tags: ,

john-key1

It must be the pressure is getting to him and he is getting bored as his stint as Prime Minister of New Zealand.  Because John Key is doing some pretty stupid stuff.

The latest is his insulting a young 16 year old woman who asked him a perfectly reasonable question.  She was left upset and embarrassed after he said her suggestion that New Zealand has a month long Maori language week would be boring.  He managed to insult Maori and idealistic young people at the same time. Way to go John.

From Stuff:

A teenage girl was “upset and embarrassed” when the Prime Minister said her suggestion of   a Maori language month would be boring.

The 16-year-old asked  John Key whether he would extend Maori language week, when he visited a school assembly at Waiuku College, on Friday.

Key said he preferred keeping it to a week of Maori language celebrations and that people would get “bored” by a month.

Prime Minister John Key speaks to a Waiuku College assembly about Maori language week, saying people would be “bored” if it was extended to a month.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said Key’s meaning was that the celebrations may be diluted over a longer period.

She said she thought students may have misinterpeted his answer.

Classmate Trent Brown Marsh, 16, said the girl was in tears after assembly and was considering taking time off school because she felt embarrassed.

He said his friend was “basically laughed at”.

“She’s still upset. She doesn’t want to go back to school,” Brown Marsh said. “John Key made the whole school laugh in a rude way.”

Brown Marsh said he was angry that the year 12 girl was invited to talk to Key about Maori language week but then her question was “dismissed”.

“His reply was haha no. He kind of explained (his answer) but it was insensitive.

“It made me feel quite disgusted in what the leader of our country would say about New Zealand culture really, not just mine.

“I feel that my culture’s future depends on having Maori language. One week is such a short amount of time to embrace our culture.”

Coalition colleague Te Ururoa Flavell must be wondering what to do.  He is quoted as saying “[i]t’s boring having to speak English most of the time”.

Thoughts of retiring to Hawaii must be getting stronger and stronger for Key.  Crosby Textor will have their work cut out trying to sort this particular fiasco out.

Stand by for Cameron Slater to launch a hatchet job on the young woman.

146 comments on “Maori language is not boring, John Key”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    To the 16 year old student student:
    Don McGlashan puts it so well in his song “Girl Make Your Own Mind Up”

    “They’ll try to make you believe in The Invisible Hand
    The sweet self-interest of successful men
    To believe in the chance, however remote
    That the rising tide lifts all the boats

    And you will listen, you will listen
    But girl – make your own mind up
    About the world – make your own mind up
    You’re smarter than all of them
    You’re smarter than all of them”
    https://www.lyricskid.com/lyrics/7-worlds-collide-lyrics/girl-make-your-own-mind-up-lyrics.html

    • HumPrac 1.1

      Good one. +100

    • Marx_not 1.2

      I would describe Don McGlashan as a ‘successful man’ wouldn’t you? And the tide DOES lift all boats…unless they are useless leaking old tubs…

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.2.1

        Don McGlashan is successful, true, but self-interested would not be so applicable. I infer from these lyrics that he is saying that those who have done well out of free market capitalism will try to persuade others to believe that the free market will trickle down far enough to “raise the tide” to improve everyone’s lives. “However remote” refers to the fact that so little trickles down that the tide is always running out.
        Song lyrics, like paintings, can suggest different things to different people and this is simply my interpretation.
        My point was to encourage the year 12 girl to have confidence in herself and her viewpoint. Kudos to her for having the courage to say her piece.
        I doubt that the PM intended his remarks to be a putdown but an attempt to make himself seem to empathise with the school students. For his intended nastiness, Parliamentary question time provides the exemplars.

  2. Sacha 2

    The PM never hears Te Reo in Parnell or Hawaii. Can’t possibly be relevant.

  3. BM 3

    Stuff is a troll site.

    Every story is written to inflame.

    • the question must be – are you inflamed by the behavior of the pm? What do YOU think bm? For me it is further evidence of the disgraceful and pathetic excuse of a leader showing his ignorance and disdain for this country and its people. He must go.

      • BM 3.1.1

        Not really, I doubt he meant any harm.

        Reads like bit of a hit job, too be honest.

        Also, I don’t think Key will be worried, every time these hatchet jobs appear in the news his popularity tends to rise.

        • marty mars 3.1.1.1

          so you’d agree at best he was insensitive. funny how key needs to take an interpreter around now

        • Skinny 3.1.1.2

          It is a hit job on Key and poor at best. I will credit Key for including the Maori-Tory party into his Government, I doubt any other Tory leader would have. And Key has been very keen to settle the Ngapuhi Treaty claim.

          • JanM 3.1.1.2.1

            As I see it the Maori Party was inveigled into supporting the Nats in order to declaw them – certainly not to meet their best aspirations. Their acceptance, I believe, was on the basis of ‘half a loaf is better than no bread’. And Key’s casual insult shows clearly what his stance really is, which appears to be yours also

            • Skinny 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Wrong, I embrace Te Reo Maori every day as we all should. With all the idoits who deliberately and ignorantly keep pronouncing City’s, Towns and Regions incorrectly I can’t be bothered giving it much more thought. Te Reo is being taught in all schools even if by default as correctly pronouncing Maori words, but in a wider degree would be far more productive. Eventually the new generation will shine through and speaking fluent Maori will be common to all Kiwi’s.

              • JanM

                That’s great, Skinny, then I imagine you do not, in fact, agree with the attitude that John Key appears to have taken. That said, why try to make excuses for him?

                • Skinny

                  Look Jan all of us lefties here know what a fool Key is and this is par for the course. Helen Clark and most other PM’s from the past would have been far more diplomatic in their choice of answer.

              • Marx_not

                Using your standards Skinny I could call hundreds of young (and older) Maori ‘idiots’ for mispronouncing and misspelling English words. What would be your excuse for them seeing as English is still the ‘first’ language for most Maori in NZ.

                • Skinny

                  “mispronouncing and misspelling English words”

                  Wank on Red Neck what an unintelligent argument. You know it’s a literacy problem rather than deliberate, something that sadly the statistic’s back up. You need to read up next time your at your fella’s bach in Wonga ma ta or Waka ta na.

                  • Gangnam Style

                    “Mispronounce english words” – have you noticed the different ways english is pronounced, NZ english ‘dance’ compared to Australian english ‘dance’, Australians cannot even hear the difference in the words ‘bed’ & beard’ when NZrs pronounce it. But I think maybe you were just being a little bit racist maybe.

                    Also, is there a ‘first’ language in NZ? Are not all 3 official languages equal.

        • “A bit of a hit job”

          Yeah, curse those leftwing infiltrators disguising themselves as high school students. Why, I hear they forced John Key to sound really dismissive. He’s the real victim here.

          🙄

          • Skinny 3.1.1.3.1

            Was there a victim? I didn’t see one. Mind you the generation of hard knocks has changed to sensitive wee cry babies.

          • Tracey 3.1.1.3.2

            chuckle

            That the girl was asked to ask about it in advance makes his answer a bit more baffling cos it suggests he probably knew the questions in advance.

            He has a history of not saying what he means…

        • Gangnam Style 3.1.1.4

          Welcome to David Cunliffes world before the last election…

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.4.1

            Yep, a big mistake for Cunliffe to have been pushed from that job early – Labour will regret it in due course. He had much to learn and improve upon but a bit more time and a bit more heat and pressure was all that was required.

            • Hami Shearlie 3.1.1.4.1.1

              Totally agree CV – David Cunliffe was a leader who would have put the Nats under huge pressure, especially now over the TPPA and many other issues. He is a heavy hitter with great intelligence and I really believe he would have grown into a great leader, but alas the ABC crowd saw to his demise for their own selfish ends.

    • Molly 3.2

      BM.

      You have been a regular commentor here for a while, but offer very little of yourself in terms of reasoned opinion.

      It would be great to read more from you that is not predominantly partisan cheerleading. Post some comments that reflect your position on honesty, transparency, ethics, morality and grace.

      After all this time, I still have no idea where you stand on those subjects. That is not true of many of the other regular commenters here, and it would be very interesting to understand what (I assume) a National party supporter is truly thinking.

      • weka 3.2.1

        well he did make an effort the other day to explain how population should be controlled by forcing people to take long term contraception and only approved stock lines would be allowed to breed. Didn’t go into the details much of course.

      • Hanswurst 3.2.2

        It would be great to read more from you that is not predominantly partisan cheerleading.

        Couldn’t we just get a replacement? I think this one’s broken.

  4. mac1 4

    “It made me feel quite disgusted in what the leader of our country would say about New Zealand culture really, not just mine.

    “I feel that my culture’s future depends on having Maori language. One week is such a short amount of time to embrace our culture.”

    The young man is right. Language carries a culture within it, and expresses that culture. A week is not much more than tokenism. He is also right to criticise the PM for this, another demonstration of 1%er insensitivity, and opposite to Maori communal values.

  5. Anne 5

    Definition of a plebeian 1. commoner. 2. of low birth. 3. coarse, base, ignoble.

    That sums up the prime-minster of NZ.

    Once again he shows himself to be nothing more than a sexist buffoon. The same man who thought it funny to pull girls’ pony tails and who once joked that wives/partners are really only studs….

    • sabine 5.1

      Dear Leader i think would fit this one well

      nouveau riche
      ˌnuːvəʊ ˈriːʃ,French nuvo ʀiʃ/
      noun
      1.
      people who have recently acquired wealth, typically those perceived as ostentatious or lacking in good taste.
      “the long-term wealthy and the nouveau riche came flocking to Saint Laurent’s show”
      synonyms: the new rich; More
      adjective
      1.
      relating to or characteristic of the nouveau riche.
      “nouveau-riche social climbers”

      but yes he is ignoble, base and rude. very very rude.

    • Jenny Kirk 5.2

      Anne – you are so right ! Our PM is a boorish uncultured buffoon who knows nothing except how to trade money. He is such an embarrassment to us all.

  6. Ffloyd 6

    Lol. This coming from an idiot that mangles the English language on a daily basis.

  7. Charles 7

    Grammar nit-picker alert!

    Should the title of this post read: “Maori language is not boring, John Key.”

    Otherwise it suggests that the language isn’t boring him. He in fact finds it very interesting.

  8. weka 8

    I think the fact that Key believes Māori language week is all about the celebration says a lot. It’s kind of like sports, right? Something to make everyone feel good for a minute. Nothing to do with ensuring that one of NZ’s official languages survives and then thrives, a language that is still struggling to recover from state suppression.

    Honour the Treaty, John and if you yourself don’t understand what that means listen to your coalition partners or the many other experts in this nation that you supposedly lead.

    He whakamā te kupu Māori mo ’embarrassed’ (whakamā is the Māori word for embarrassed).

    • emergency mike 8.1

      Yes I think that’s the point here weka. For him Maori language week is just another bread and circuses distraction for the masses. He doesn’t have a concept that it is in fact an effort towards helping and preserving our culture. ‘A month? Nah, not sure we could string it out that long.’

  9. Chooky 9

    This casual dismissive racism by jonkey nact is typical of the way Hone Harawira and Mana/int were treated especially in Election year …and Metiria Turei

    ….and how some people have long attempted to treat Winston Peters

  10. Kate Lang 10

    The clottish, boring attitude of john key is what we need less of. Insensitive, insincere, inequitable. Let’s get rid of him asap. Apologies to the child should be on his knees and soon.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    Key should apologise to the girl. In Maori.

    • Hanswurst 11.1

      I think he should apologise in a language he can speak. Of course, an unfortunate side effect would be that he wouldn’t be able to apologise at all.

      • Molly 11.1.1

        Don’t forget he can apologise in “TwoBottlesofVinoese”… that’s apparently good enough for his supporters.

  12. AB 12

    Let’s not get carried away here – Key’s bungled revelation of what he really thinks is in line with a great deal of Pakeha opinion. People who are not overtly racist to individual Maoris, but very hostile to Maori language and culture and especially to any idea of a different Maori worldview.
    If Key had just said – “I would be concerned that the impact would be diluted over the longer time period. But it’s a interesting idea let’s discuss it!” – he would have left the young woman’s self-esteem intact and quietly buried the idea. That’s pretty much what Clark would have said – but she had far greater intellectual and linguistic resources to call on.

    • weka 12.1

      re your first paragraph, a Prime Minister is meant to lead a government for the whole country, not the lowest common denominator. If that’s what Key really thinks, and he thinks its appropriate to express that opinion in public in his role as PM then he has a conflict of interest between this own ideas and the job he is supposed to be doing. His job as PM isn’t to reflect prejudice and ignorance, it’s to transcend those aspects of the society he is supposed to be governing.

      Completely agree on the second paragraph, but it’s another reason why Key shouldn’t be PM. He’s a clown not a statesman.

    • mickysavage 12.2

      For the past few years AB Key has tried to sound like a Labour Prime Minister from time to time. Hence the trip to Waitangi with Aroha Nathan from McGehan Close. He would never have engaged in a put down like this.

      Fine by me if he now engages in this sort of stuff. He is acting closer to the National norm. I am confident that most Kiwis think that this sort of put down is unbecoming of a politician, particularly the Prime Minister of the country.

      • AB 12.2.1

        I agree with you – and Weka above too.
        I meant, let’s not get carried away with thinking there is any electoral damage to Key from this. My instinct is that he is in line with the bulk of Pakeha opinion.

      • Tracey 12.2.2

        that was when he had to pretend to be ordinary so as to entice Labour voters to National. He is a smokes and mirror guy. He speaks to a much wider audience than the person in front of him, so he has no empathy for the girl or her feelings because his answer is intended for a braoder audience than her. She is, irrelevant.

      • starboard 12.2.3

        What about forging your signature on a painting..or telling your driver to break all speed records to get to a rugby game then making the driver take the rap when the law come a calling? Yes , very unbecoming of a PM.

        • Tracey 12.2.3.1

          I recall her being roundly condemned by media and John key promising higher standards from his Ministers if he became leader.

        • Rawsharkosaurus 12.2.3.2

          How can somebody forge their own signature?

          Precisely which land speed record was broken?

      • miravox 12.2.4

        Yes, the Prime Minister used to have a better political antenna. I’m quite relaxed about seeing it go awry.

    • Tracey 12.3

      and a greater sense of the sensibilities of the people she was interacting with. I think Key lacks empathy and is focusing what mind power he has on the wider audience NOT the person he is directly addressing.

  13. tc 13

    Maoris language month is what it should be. Our language needs a boost and if kiwi music gets a month then the launguage surely should also.

    So much for the smooth operators with such an opportunity lost to Keys ‘casual dismissive racism’ as chooky called it.

    • Bob 13.1

      “Maoris language month is what it should be. Our language needs a boost and if kiwi music gets a month then the launguage surely should also.”
      Maori language year is what it should be.
      I can’t speak for the Prime Minister, but I think the point he was trying to make is that like NZ Music month, where we just get a small selection of songs on repeat for a month and people (like myself) get over it by the end of the month, all that te wiki o te reo Maori seems to throw up in mainstream media is a change of town names while people try to figure out what is happening with the weather.
      Rather than a move to Maori language month, I would prefer a stronger move to getting people engaged with te reo. How about NZ On Air throw some more money towards teaching people the basics of te reo during the week, how about scripted NZ shows like Shortland Street run te reo subtitles during the week, how about free te reo lessons at your local Library / town hall during the week.
      I would rather see the a more focused te wiki o te reo Maori than a watered down month long version, which I think is what the PM was also alluding too (obviously he didn’t do a very good job if a girl left the room crying!)

  14. TE 14

    I don’t think you are a Real NZ’er john key
    You don’t look like one
    Don’t sound like one
    Don’t care like one
    Not honest like one
    Can’t hammer a nail home like one
    and just because you
    Can’t seem to get your tongue round te reo
    Doesn’t mean other NZer’s don’t want to

    In fact I find you Very Disrespectful & Boring.

    • starboard 14.1

      That’s right , attack the man..attack attack attack.

      The left haven’t learnt..you shall stay in opposition until you have.

  15. infused 15

    Not boring, just useless.

  16. Karen 16

    John Key has always reminded me of those boorish, smart alec kids at school that you were just pleased to see the back of. I have never understood why people like him – he is an embarrassment. What I particularly hate is his assumption he speaks for New Zealanders when he comes out with these ignorant, insensitive remarks.

    Loved this tweet from Lamia:

    Lamia I ‏@LI_politico 43m43 minutes ago
    “New Zealand was settled peacefully because Maori were bored by their own culture and they just wanted something new.” – John Key probably

    • starboard 16.1

      Yeah probably was John Key..probably , you know for certain it was or is it just probably ? Pppffttt.

      • Naturesong 16.1.1

        I think it’s a mash up.

        He has on separate occasions made statements that; New Zealand was settled peacefully, that Maori originally welcomed immigration because they wanted the capital, and most recently that a Maori Language month would be boring.

        He also used it as a joke designed demean the questioner, a 16 year old girl asking a reasonable question. What an asshole.

      • Tracey 16.1.2

        Sense of humour transplant starboard? It was clearly tongue in cheek

  17. Blue Horseshoe 17

    Tony Abbott referred to Aboriginal people who live on the lands in remote areas, as making, lifestyle choices

    When looking for genuine and deep seated hatred and disrespect of indigenous cultures , just take a look at a number of the prime ministers in Western Anglophile nations and what they represent

    I resist using the terminology, racism, however I am highly suspicious that there is a component involved. Certainly Key and his ilk have disdain for the lives of people.

  18. Facetious 18

    Nothing to see and a complete beat up. It must be a slow day for the clueless journalist who filed this “story”.

    • Naturesong 18.1

      I am Pakeha (for clarity, Ross Himona’s interpretation is the one that make most sense to me).

      My ancestors came from various areas of north and west Europe, Celts mostly.
      Their acceptance here, my identity as a New Zealander and the legitimacy of my citizenship are directly attributable to the Treaty the British signed with the Maori Tribes who comprise the greater part of Tangata whenua.

      For our nation’s leader to repeatedly and publicly undermine the history and nature of Maori culture, the Treaty and colonisation is worrisome. It feeds into that sleeping monster present just under the surface of New Zealand society; colonial racism*.

      *I don’t know if that’s an actual term, but I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about

  19. maui 19

    Reminds me of the “gay red top” comment he made. He can be vindictive and I think he enjoys bullying behaviour when he’s got a pack to support him, ie a school assembly.

    • Tracey 19.1

      he is a white hetereosexual, monied, male. He doesn’t know how minorities feel…

      • starboard 19.1.1

        So am I . Does that make me a bad person ? If I were gay with money would that make it better?

        • Tracey 19.1.1.1

          Not a bad person it just generally means that you don’t understand what it is like to be a minority and the treatment that infers. As your comment below indicates you also don’t mind generalisations so why did mine bother you?

      • alwyn 19.1.2

        “white hetereosexual, monied, male”

        Actually three out of four of those categories are minorities.
        In the world as a whole to be white is to be in a minority.
        To be moneyed is to be in a minority.
        To be male is to be in a minority (I think).
        The only one that is a majority is to be heterosexual.

        • Charles 19.1.2.1

          Just adding the bits not seen…

          In the world as a whole to be white is to be in a minority… with a certain amount of accumulated/associated power over those less white.

          To be moneyed is to be in a minority… with a certain amount of accumulated/associated power over those less monied. This one crosses cultural and racial lines.

          To be male is to be in a minority (I think)… with a certain amount of assumed/accumulated power over those less, well, male. This one often crosses racial lines.

          Context is everything. It’s not just a head count issue, but you knew that. I just like wasting my time on Sundays.

        • Tracey 19.1.2.2

          but not treated like other minorities, which was my point, which I expect you know. That they are in fact minority groupings and this PM consistently fails to feel empathy for other minority groupings makes it less likely to be a result of ignorance then.

  20. starboard 20

    Hey he’s just saying it how it is and how most of the country feels about MLW.

    • Tracey 20.1

      So you agree with him. Cool but that doesn’t mean he is reflecting how “most” of this country feels about it.

      • starboard 20.1.1

        Look I’m sorry but it really is how 90% of the country feels. They are not interested in it. If they were, don’t you think there would be more uptake? Facts have to be faced , most Kiwis think ML is quaint but that’s about it.

        • Tracey 20.1.1.1

          “Look I’m sorry but it really is how 90% of the country feels.”

          so enlighten me, how do you know what 90% feel? Do you just assume if you feel/believe something it must be the majority?

    • miravox 20.3

      Hey he’s just saying it how it is and how most of the country feels about MLW

      And yet we still have MLW. If most of the country (as you assume) can’t be arsed about MLW, why on earth would there be an issue with a MLM? ‘Most’ people can continue to ignore it as they already to.

      Even if your view of how many people feel MLW is boring, the Prime Minister was way off with his ill-considered in his response to a young person dipping into political discussion.

  21. ropata 21

    He reveals his true intent, two of them . What he really is saying i dont care for the children and i dont care for( as they call it ) jungle law as seen from a freemasons view.

  22. Exile 22

    Hmm, I think the answer is simpler than most of you. John Key relies on his polls. I doubt his polls show strong support for more Maori language outside of committed left-wing activists are some Maori.
    So John Key can safely say that Maori language is boring, not worth the time, and a niche language. He knows that it wont hurt him politically. That those who vote for National are just fine with it because his polls probably show that the majority of both National and Labour voters feel the same on this issue.

    Lets be honest, how popular would more money into Maori language be?
    How many votes would we gain from pushing that initiative. (My guess is that it would be a netloss not a netgain.

    Personally I think language knowledge and training in NZ is abysmal. I expect job candidates to be bilingual because i think it makes them more open to the world and more open to change. That doesn’t mean I expect them to speak Maori, im happy if they speak any two languages.
    But the school system doesn’t encourage languages. In today’s NZ there is little need to speak Maori and those, not Maori, who learn the language do so more out of genuine interest that need.

    In Europe most kids are taught 2 or 3 languages in school. Thats what we should aim for. Its a great policy, and if we again follow the working model from Europe, the kids get to choose their language. This is great since it reduces the no don’t learn the language resistance and instead creates a situation where parents actively can choose what direction they want from their children.
    In Europe they have between 2-3 choices, for example french/german/latin. In NZ choices are likely to be perhaps maori / mandarin / spanish/french. The bonus of this is of course that the rather large and more and more influential group of Mandarin Chinese voters would see Labour as championing one of their most important questions and that we actually have a policy that is both supported by business and by minorities. A win/win policy.

    Our other choice, as seen from countries with a large minority with a dominant language is to make the minority language compulsory in schools. I don’t recommend this and see it as creating tension rather than building bridges. I also see this as a guarantee we wont be in power for another two decades.
    In countries where the teaching of minority languages have been made compulsory, you struggle to see a greater uptake or fluency. A suitable example is Finland where the Finnish-speaking majority previously had compulsory Swedish (the minority language) education. Unfortunately since the need to speak Swedish wasn’t noticed by the Finnish speakers, few of them bothered with it and just floated through the classes being told by parents to focus on other subjects. You also saw a negative feeling towards the minority develop when students had to learn what they deemed where an unnecessary skill. In short the politicians tried to create facts that didnt have the support of the people and thus failed.
    Only in majority Swedish speaking regions were the uptake and commitment noticeable. (Similar to what I would assume wed see if Maori became part of the curriculum, the case example would be the Chinese mayor of Gisbourne, whose Maori sound pretty fluent to me).

    With that said we desperately need a school reform where breadth, depth, including more language training and more subjects taught to the students are our focus. At present we seem to be going in the wrong direction, focusing on so called modern independent learning techniques (that only work in a few academically staged tests). But thats another point all together and education policy is a vote winner if we can position ourselves as champions of a better school system.

    • emergency mike 22.1

      He was talking to a high school teenager. He could have fobbed her question off easily with something like “A month eh? It’s an interesting idea, something we could possibly maybe consider thinking about looking into sometime much later. Maori language week is great because blah blah blah. Next question.”

      He’s putting down her suggestion like she is a left wing opponent because he reckons it’s a safe dog-whistle to his core supporters? Even if that’s the case it’s just bizarre that we have a PM who addresses questions from high school students like that. Maybe he should stop calling David Farrar every five minutes.

      • alwyn 22.1.1

        He wasn’t putting her down, as you claim.
        He was doing what he normally does when asked a question and was telling her what he actually thinks. Do you really want him to behave like Little, or Peters? They are the people who routinely “fob people off” as you put it.
        That is the reason they are generally disliked by most New Zealand people and why Key is so popular. Personally I greatly prefer someone who tells us what he thinks, rather than like his predecessor who lied to us.

        • emergency mike 22.1.1.1

          Well I prefer someone who doesn’t pull a waitresses pony tail until she starts crying. And doesn’t answer a high school student’s question in a way that makes her start crying. But each to their own I guess. What a popular guy.

          Don’t like liars? Seen blip’s list lately?

        • tangled_up 22.1.1.2

          That is the reason they are generally disliked by most New Zealand people
          What evidence is this opinion based on? A preferred prime minister poll only asks someone who they prefer as prime minister.

        • Tracey 22.1.1.3

          49% o the voting population wanted National. Let’s not keep distorting it into majority of NZers, most people and so on.

          Key tells you what you want him to here he thinks alwyn, there is a difference.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 22.1.1.4

          John Key says what he wants you to believe. He doesn’t want people to bother to think rationally and consider the verifiable evidence relating to the validity of his spin.

    • In Vino 22.2

      I am a language teacher (French, German, English) and I agree with everything you say, Exile.
      But it seems that most want to bang on about John Key (as boring as a month of compulsory spelling lessons), and do not want to debate education as an issue.
      I like learning languages (obviously) and would welcome a Maori Language Month.
      We are a minority, and John Key plays to the majority.
      He goofed a bit in his response to the girl’s suggestion, in that he thoughtlessly belittled it. Silly. That will be the big issue. He often goofs – the majority think it endearing.
      Sorry, but in thinking we should take education matters seriously, you and I are part of a smaller group than ever…
      Kia kaha

  23. emergency mike 23

    This is the first time John Key has made a young woman start crying since the last time he made a young woman start crying. Something’s not quite right about this guy.

    • Charles 23.1

      No, no, let him carrry on along these lines, please. He’s doing a great job of reducing the likelihood of smart young people voting National, any time soon. Like many Captains of NZ Industry, he’s exercising the classic “Destroy Our Future Client Base/Market Share” strategy*.

      *A clever and mysterious strategy, often employed at every opportunity, for reasons no one knows, or ever will – which makes it even more cunning.

  24. Clemgeopin 24

    From his dismissive rude reply, Key has actually shown his true racist anti-Maori colours.

    Maori is one of our three official national languages. It is a shame that we as a nation have not shown the Maori language and its rich culture much love, respect and its true place, apart from some token PC consideration during special occasions.

    It is great that Maori get along so well with the people living in this country in spite of the injustices they suffered historically. It would be wonderful if everyone could familiarise with the indigenous culture and learn the language.

    I agree with the Waiuku student. A month long dedication for the language will make a great difference to bridge this gap and make us a better country.

    I wholeheartedly support such a move. I also think that Te Reo should be made compulsory in all New Zealand schools at least at all the primary and intermediate levels.

    P.S:

    [1] I do not know Maori. Here is my first effort today via google:
    Mauruuru no te pānui. Te ti’aturi nei au e, e tautoko a koutou i tenei.
    Please google its translation to see what it means. Here is the link for translating:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=translate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    [2] Recently I came across an inspiring speech by a non-Maori student about the Maori language. Here is the link:

    Cheers!

  25. Steve Wrathall 25

    “John Key made the whole school laugh in a rude way.” Didn’t realize the country is lead by someone so powerful.

  26. Sable 26

    I’m royally pissed off with an education system that pushes Maori language down our child’s throat. We are not Maori and our values are reading, writing and math focused. Instead of focusing on things that will one day get our child a job we have this silly distraction as part of the curriculum. And God help anyone who objects!

    If you are Maori fair enough. If not people should have the right to choose whether their child learns any Maori or not. Seems cultural sensitivity is a one way street in NZ.

    • How’s this for cultural sensitivity: Fuck off out of our country, you bigoted shit. If you don’t like it here, go somewhere else. Leave the kid, though. It’s not their fault one of their parent’s an idiot.

    • Gangnam Style 26.2

      Actually my child has the maori language pushed out of her throat with her beautiful pronunciation. Hes 7, I just asked him does he mind learning it at school, he doesn’t. Do I mind, of course not, hes a bright child that can walk & chew out the same time. I’m sorry if your children are a little bit slow, but NZ has an excellent remedial education so all is not lost yet!

      • Sable 26.2.1

        Ha listen to old Gangham. You criticize me by taking cheap shots at a child. Lower than a snakes belly….BTW ours is in the top tier for math. If I’m not mistaken employers think math skills are important but heck what do I know….(laughing)…

        • Tracey 26.2.1.1

          Well done for seeing your child’s purpose in life to be rote learned into a job… How old is this child that is having Maori pushed down their throat?

          I won’t make a dig at your child but I do think that his/her parent needs to know that ignorance is an illness…

          It’s ok though, cos education is the cure.

          • Sable 26.2.1.1.1

            Nothing like being condescending Tracey. By the way is there a point in there somewhere? As a lawyer I would have thought you would be more convincing…..

    • Clemgeopin 26.3

      Sable, this is really Maori land, my friend. Besides, one does not do everything just to get a job. Students don’t learn everything in a school just to get a job. There is more to life and living than that. I do understand your thinking though as there are many people that think in such a narrow manner. Enlarge your thinking and enlighten yourself a little more. That will only do you, your kids and the country an enormous amount of good. It is very easy for children to learn different languages. It will only enhance them, not deprive them of anything. Think about it. Mihi, e kite koe.

      • marty mars 26.3.1

        well said clem

      • Tracey 26.3.2

        Kia ora!

      • Sable 26.3.3

        Funny Clem. Last time I looked lots of people from lots of diverse cultures live here in NZ. Why is it only Maori land exactly? And yes, my man, education is about employment at the end of the day.

        • weka 26.3.3.1

          One reason is because the Treaty of Waitangi is between Māori iwi and the Crown, where the Crown represents all non-Māori. That was a treaty created from Pākehā values btw. All the other cultures you are thinking about are included.

          Te reo isn’t just about the vocab and grammar. It’s about being able to understand te ao Māori (the Māori world). Such understanding both creates better race relations and gives depth to NZ culture. There are things that can be understood in Māori that are hard to understand in any other way. It’s unique to NZ, we should value that.

        • Clemgeopin 26.3.3.2

          The thing is this : True, getting a job is important. Specialising in skills, trades or academic subjects is quite important to get good jobs or to be in good professions. Knowing good English is of course crucial to work in NZ or abroad. No doubt you are correct. But the learning of the basics of the local language, Maori, as a child, does not prevent or stop that child from achieving all that I mentioned above or all that you aspire for your child. Why would it?

          It has only positives with absolutely no negatives. One other thing it may do is make the child more broad minded, more knowledgeable, more tolerant and less racist in his/her future life. Above all, it will enrich the child in many ways and ultimately make NZ a better, more tolerant, more cohesive, happier and more peaceful nation. Who does not want that? Ka kite apopo.

      • Clemgeopin 26.3.4

        My first line should say,
        ‘Sable, this is really Maori land, in which both Maori and non Maori live in a partnership as per the Treaty of Waitangi’.

        • Sable 26.3.4.1

          Yes but you didn’t mate. Still you were not insulting so I’ll accept your point even if I do not share it.

    • maui 26.4

      That “silly distraction” is called culture, if you want to live in a country where we’re taught the Queen’s English from primary school and learn the art of sipping tea, etc, then fine, but I would call that torture.

      • Sable 26.4.1

        If Maori were our first language I’d be just as passionate about that Maui. Its not and cold hard facts are you need a damn good education to succeed these days.

        • maui 26.4.1.1

          I might have different idea on success to you then. Success to me is not about having multiple degrees, a McMansion, and a +$100,000 salary. I would have thought that was the only version of “success” a couple of year ago. Successful people to me are people who make their community better, volunteer their time to do that, in fact you could even call them legends. A lot of them probably have very little material wealth and perhaps not much education either. But they are educated in things like social values, environmental responsibility and caring. If they are improving/helping an area of society or a local physical resource, then I can think of no better definition of success.

    • Tracey 26.5

      Which country are you and your children living in Sable where they push ” Maori language down our child’s throat.”?

      It is sad that you see your child’s education as a mere vehicle to turn them into a job getter.

      • Sable 26.5.1

        Education is about jobs Tracey. Its about a child’d future happiness and yes that is predicated on getting a good job. You can look at it any way you like but thats the truth.

        Given how bad things are too its more important than ever.

        • Naturesong 26.5.1.1

          Education is about learning how to learn.

          Learning skills for a job is called vocational training (also apprenticeships, internships etc.).

    • Skinny 26.6

      “I’m royally pissed off with an education system that pushes Maori language down our child’s throat.”
      I wonder if the son (Prince William) of the royal toilet cleaner will take the throne once the head of ‘the firm’ falls face down in her pudding?

      TRP is right…fuck off back to old Blighty ya whinging Pom. Back to the slum where you hail from. Yours is the worst anti Kiwi comment I think I’ve seen on here.

      • Sable 26.6.1

        Skinny on facts. I’m third generation Kiwi chuckles. Great grandad co-founded the Communist party and was instrumental in the formation of Labour. By the way what have you got against the British? Hearing a lot of bias here but none of it is mine. (laughing).

        • miravox 26.6.1.1

          Yep Sable, Skinny was quite wrong in suggesting that unimaginative, boring bigots are foreign. Aotearoa is quite capable of producing truckloads of those who don’t give a toss about the health and wealth of language and culture that is unique to the place despite three generations (kata).

          • te reo putake 26.6.1.1.1

            Not to mention not giving a toss about their kid’s development. Learning a second language is incredibly good for them. It’s not a bad thing for an adult either.

            • miravox 26.6.1.1.1.1

              +1 yes, that too.

              I’m learning Austrian-German (different to German-German I am often told) at the moment. Difficult to learn as an adult is an understatement. All the comments about how much easier it would be if I learned languages (any of them) as a child make me sigh with regret.

        • Skinny 26.6.1.2

          Yeah they say good blood often dilutes to failure. In your case I tend to agree. Your a disgrace to your bloodlines.

    • Molly 26.7

      “I’m royally pissed off with an education system that pushes Maori language down our child’s throat. “
      Your Majesty, I’m a republican at heart so excuse the failure to address you in the manner in which you have been accustomed. If the system is doing what you say, then it is surprising to me that Te Reo speakers in NZ are declining… Are you entirely sure that what you say is based in fact?

      “We are not Maori and our values are reading, writing and math focused.”
      Do you understand that both parts of this sentence relate to different topics?
      ie. We are not Māori. Our (sic) values are reading, writing and math focused.
      The way you have written it implies that Māori do not also value reading, writing and math. Surely, you did not mean to imply that?

      “Instead of focusing on things that will one day get our child a job we have this silly distraction as part of the curriculum.”
      Silly distraction? Once again, you seem to imply that understanding the culture of the tangata whenua of a country is not important to those who live there. Regardless of which country you speak of in the world, understanding the values and world view of the indigenous people of that country contributes to a richer experience of that locale. Understanding the culture of Māori in NZ, does the same for all who live here. Be reassured, Māori already understand and have experience of the culture brought to NZ by the Crown. Time for a reciprocal action – don’t you think?

      “And God help anyone who objects! “ Along with being a republican, also not religious, so less said on this the better.

      “If you are Maori fair enough.”
      This short sentence packs a punch. Can be taken in a variety of ways, none of them complimentary to the author. But let’s just start with the fact that “fair” and “Māori” are often mutually exclusive when it comes to dealing with the systems set in place by the Crown, education being one of them. Perhaps independent education of your own will enlighten you to the past and current experiences of Māori students in our education system.

      ” If not people should have the right to choose whether their child learns any Maori or not. “
      Yes, if you want to perpetuate a continuation of a political and societal system where any gains or acknowledgement are only won after years of battling and are always precarious. Then the continuation of a national ignorance of our own history and contributing culture is necessary.

      “Seems cultural sensitivity is a one way street in NZ.”
      And so say all of us.

      Well past time for Māori to have it reciprocated.
      Do it for free, and get back to us when you have proven that you have spent as much time learning Maori language and culture, as the typical fifteen year old Māori teenager has spent learning yours. (/sarc).

  27. ZTesh 27

    Is there another witness or clip for this? It seems kind of strange to be basing such a reaction around a single witness in an audience of hundreds….

    Reading between the lines it sounds more like he is guilty of speaking honestly about how your average Joe Bloggs would view and respect a ‘language month’ as opposed to actually a week which they might at least make an effort for.

    • The PM’s office confirms it:

      “The Prime Minister’s office says students have misinterpreted what was said and that Mr Key is in favour of Maori Language Week.”

      However, the hundreds of kids who heard his words are all mistaken as to what they meant and the victim burst into tears for no good reason at all. Glad we’ve cleared that up.

      • ZTesh 27.1.1

        Oh I don’t doubt he said it, but as to the tone, impact and intent….well we haven’t had hundreds of kids come forth to corroborate this side of it or even a single other witness for that matter.

        I personally think Maori language month is a good idea, but I think this story, and the reaction to it, is a verging on the hysterical.

    • Tracey 27.2

      it’s amazing. Now you speak for the average Joe Blogs. All these Maori language naysayers who know what “most” NZers think and feel.

  28. BM 28

    I’m doing my bit for Maori language week by watching Marae kai masters.

    Good show, loved what they did with the rotten corn.

  29. b waghorn 29

    This is an open letter to key and any of his little acolytes.

    What’s boring is living in a country where the islands are named Norff island
    and souff island instead of te ika oh Maui and te wai ponamu. And our fucking cities and towns names are recycled from towns most of use couldn’t find on a map if our lives depended on it.
    And where the hell is Old Zealand exactly.

    • In Vino 29.1

      Good final point. While we are about changing the flag, and, thanks to an innocent by-line by Little, changing the stodgy National Anthem, why do we not come to grips with the real issue: finding a decent name for our country. The name ‘New Zealand’ really sucks. We are not a reinvention of some region in Holland. I am tired of all the “New” names that European explorers so unimaginatively gave to places they found that other people had already discovered. New York, New South Wales, New Caledonia, New Orleans, etc. What on earth did any of those places do to deserve such inappropriate names?

  30. tangled_up 30

    “I spoke to the principal who said there had been a debate on Maori TV about this particular issue, so he had listened intently to my answer and said I was thoughtful, respectful and there was no issue.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70762635/john-key-disputes-claims-he-said-maori-language-month-would-be-boring

  31. Grantoc 31

    The story was made up by the Sunday Star Times, for whatever reason.

    Its nothing more than shoddy journalism.

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