What does National have against Te Reo?

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, December 6th, 2023 - 177 comments
Categories: national, nicola willis, same old national, simeon brown, Te Reo Māori, treaty settlements - Tags:

It may have been coincidental but the day after there were mass protests against the new Government’s actions in undermining te Tiriti o Waitangi it was announced that National would seek to remove bonus payments for Public Servants learning Te Reo.

From Phil Pennington at Radio New Zealand:

The government is trying to figure out how to stop any more public servants getting extra pay for being proficient in te reo Māori.

But it concedes it cannot dump existing allowances.

“I will … ask for advice on how we could stop these bonuses being negotiated into future collective agreements,” the Public Service Minister Nicola Willis told RNZ.

“While we would not have initiated the bonuses ourselves, and while we do not support them, we are left with little choice but to implement them given they are contained in binding collective agreements.”

This is not a recent brain fart.  It was planned a while ago.  Again from Radio New Zealand:

National’s Simeon Brown, now a Cabinet minister, was quoted by the Herald in July saying if National won it would “remove” the payments.

The party’s coalition agreement with NZ First does not mention the allowances. However, it requires all public service departments to have their primary name in English, and for them and all Crown entities to “communicate primarily in English”, except for agencies specifically related to Māori.

And it can be added to other insults to te reo and Te Ao Māori including:

  • Act’s policy of a referendum on the meaning of Treaty Principles;
  • Scrapping the Māori Health Authority;
  • Removing references to te Tiriti from laws including the Oranga Tamariki Act;
  • Getting rid of te reo names for Government departments;
  • All the attacks on Co Governance;
  • Stopping Three Waters on spurious racist grounds;
  • Making English an Official Language, as if it wasn’t.

Apart from being petty and divisive the action also appears to be a potential treaty breach.

Back in 1986 the Waitangi Tribunal decision on the Te Reo Māori Claim presented an important impetus to Te Reo’s rejuvenation.  The importance of the issue was captured in this submission made to the Tribunal by Ngāpuhi leader Sir James Hēnare:

The language is the core of our Māori culture and mana. Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori. (The language is the life force of the mana Māori.) If the language dies, as some predict, what do we have left to us? Then, I ask our own people, who are we?”

This statement was reinforced in the judgment of the Tribunal which said:

Some New Zealanders may say that the loss of Māori language is unimportant. The claimants in reply have reminded us that the Māori culture is a part of the heritage of New Zealand and that the Māori language is at the heart of that culture. If the language dies the culture will die, and something quite unique will have been lost to the world.

The conclusion of the Tribunal is captured in this passage:

The evidence and argument has made it clear to us that by the Treaty the Crown did promise to recognise and protect the language and that that promise has not been kept. The ‘guarantee’ in the Treaty requires affirma­tive action to protect and sustain the language, not a passive obligation to tolerate its existence and certainly not a right to deny its use in any place. it is, after all, the first language of the country, the language of the original inhabitants and the language in which the first signed copy of the Treaty was written. But educational policy over many years and the effect of the media in using almost nothing but english has swamped the Māori language and done it great harm.

We have recorded much of what we were told of the effect upon Māori children of our educational policy and it makes dismal reading. it seems that many Māori children leave school uneducated by normal standards, and that disability bedevils their progress for the rest of their lives.

We have recommended that te reo Māori should be restored to its proper place by making it an official language of new Zealand with the right to use it on any public occasion, in the Courts, in dealing with government departments, with local authorities and with all public bodies. We say that it should be widely taught from an early stage in the educational process. We think instruction in Māori should be available as of right to the children of parents who seek it. We do not recommend that it should be a compulsory subject in the schools, nor do we support the publication of all official documents in both english and Māori, at least at this stage in our development, for we think it more profitable to promote the language than to impose it.

The primary recommendation of the Tribunal was that te reo be made an official language and that Kiwis be allowed to use te reo in “any dealings with government departments, local authorities and other public bodies”.  And guess what you need to have to make that policy work?  That is right, public servants who are proficient in te reo.

This attack on public servants becoming proficient in te reo is race baiting dog whistling policy of the worst kind.

Kīngi Tūheitia is to host a national hui for unity next month.  He is seeking to bring together the many voices of Māori.

I suspect this meeting will be well attended.  And they will have a lot to talk about.

177 comments on “What does National have against Te Reo? ”

  1. Blazer 1

    It's a very long bow to suggest stopping bonus payments for proficiency in Te Reo is a breach of the treaty.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Citizens have a right to use te reo in dealing with Government Departments. Unless there is a pool of public servants who can speak in te reo the right is an illusory one.

      • Chris 1.1.1

        Yes, if someone decides to communicate in Te Reo the government department is required to bring translators in. Few people exercise this right, but doing so now would be a great form of protest against what these clowns seem to be hellbent on doing.

        Drastic times call for drastic action. Luxon and his mates haven't got a clue what they're up against, including some of their own. We're going to see a level of interesting like we've never seen before…

      • Pat 1.1.2

        Do you extend that to local government?

        How about being proficient in NZ Sign language?

        • Visubversa

          It is always possible to get an interpreter for NZ Sign Language. I used to do meetings where there were deaf people as well as hearing people and I always managed to get an interpreter arranged for the meeting.

          These days, with "Language Line" one can get almost any language translated over the phone. My refugee friends mainly speak Amharic and I have helped them at meetings with Government departments thanks to the phone translation service.

          • Pat

            I imagine its always possible in the same vein to get a Te Reo translator if necessary……it didnt (and dosnt) require all government employees to be bilingual….or at least one would hope not. Should that be the case then we are adding addition cost to everything the Government does….and we know that additional costs cannot be born by those with the least capacity to pay.

            There is no issue with people choosing to learn Te Reo and it may well be a deciding factor in someones employment but it should not be compulsory.

            • Craig H

              It's not compulsory – the clauses provide for an allowance for competency if the employee is in a role that does not have expectations of being fluent in Te Reo.

    • Incognito 1.2

      My reading is that it is also an employment issue at present that cannot be changed because of existing (collective) agreements. Removing the bonus payments from future employment agreements kills two birds with one stone: te reo Māori and costs.

      • Populuxe1 1.2.1

        Quite. Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

      • Craig H 1.2.2

        Note that they aren't bonus payments in the sense of annual bonuses, they are allowances paid regularly with salaries based on competency level.

    • James Simpson 1.3

      Its those types of payments that this government will say they have a mandate to reign in. It was what they campaigned against for six years.

      The argument being that if speaking Te Reo is part of the job, then your salary covers that training (just like it generally does for all other job training).

      We run the risk of creating even more resistance to Maori initiatives, and honouring the treaty if we try to stretch the interpretation this wide.

    • The allowance is for gaining a skill Blazer, not a bonus.

      Further, protection of belongings and treasures definitely covers language. The long bow is trying to remove this allowance when it is clearly for a skill gained to meet a customer need.

      The effort to remove this allowance is an example of draconian power use.

      It is paid to all Maori European and others who learn Te Reo to improve their skills in all areas of the Public Service.

      • Populuxe1 1.4.1

        It's a bonus. If it was just gaining a skill, you make te reo training compulsory as many cultural institutions do.

        • James Simpson


          There is a soft compulsion to learn Te Reo in my private oganisation. It is generally accepted and embraced by the staff.

          We have two one hour tutorials a week.

          We don't get a bonus. Its part of the job.

          We shouldn't expect to be paid to learn the language

          • weka

            it's really simple. If we want to save te reo, we have to have people speaking it. Lots of them. This is one way to increase speakers.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Just spoke to a cousin about it.

              She said that it's an allowance not a bonus and she gets it for having taken the time and effort to learn sign language and is often used to assist with deaf people that come in. You have to co-ordinate and book an appointment for a translator which can often be a week or more away. There is a charge to this. Having it available onsite means reduced budget cost – her allowance pays for less than five charged translators and is more timely.

              She also learned it in her own time and paid for her own lessons.

              If the argument is that it is a normal expectation of the job then I guess the first people to be laid off by national should be those that cannot speak Maori/sign language as they cannot fulfil those performance expectations.

              Are they just going to scrap the allowance for Maori or for all languages, including sign language? Do they even know that it is paid for sign language as well – I didn't ask about other languages.

              Doc pay thus:

              From 1 July 2024 Te Papa Atawhai will recognise an employee’s competence in Te Reo Māori by payment of a Te Reo Māori allowance. The rate of the allowance paid is based on the level of certification given by Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission).
              On achievement of appropriate certification by Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori an employee is to be paid an allowance in accordance with the following schedule:

              Te Taura Whiri Assessment Level Allowance Per Annum

              Level 5 $3,500
              Level 4 $2,500
              Level 3 $1,800
              NOTE: The allowance is not cumulative.

              Australia pay such allowances as well

              Under the current Service NSW Award there is an allowance that qualified NSW Government employees receive, who have a competency in a language other than English and work in locations where their language is used to assist customers.

              The allowance contained in the Service NSW Award is $1448 or $2177 per year depending on the level of qualification.

              • weka

                Very interesting.

                Seems like a no brainer to me, and I guess the divide on this is those that think we should be some effort into reviving te reo and those that don't.

                Don't know if this was already mentioned but allowances are non-taxable, bonuses are taxed.

                • Craig H

                  Allowances are only non-taxable if they are reimbursing allowances e.g. mileage, working from home allowance (up to $20/wk).

                  These are not reimbursing allowances, so they are taxable (and taxed).

    • Chess Player 1.5

      I think the vast majority of New Zealanders would agree.

      If you do a job that depends on speaking te reo to achieve quality outcomes, then sure, either train those folks in that, or hire those that can already do that.

      But if you're pushing paper around the accounts dept, or doing any one of countless thousands of back office jobs in the CDB, then why should Brian the digger driver from Invercargill pay for you to learn that?

      And not just learn that in terms of course fees, but be absent from work for the time it takes to go through the course.

    • Jamie 1.6

      If you want to learn any language it's your choice english is by far the main one spoken you shouldn't be paid a cent to learn te reo sounds like Maori privilege in my opinion it's time we had equality and not this type of nonsense.

  2. Blazer 2

    'Recommendations from the Tribunal became law in the Māori Language Act 1987, which confirmed the right to speak Māori in courts and a wide range of tribunals. These rights have been upheld and extended in later legislation. The Ministry of Justice is also responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the Waitangi Tribunal.'

    So one would think after 36 years, a pool would exist of Public servants that had Te Reo skills on their C.V.

    It should be a requirement for employment and included in remuneration.

    Government departments involved in WAI11 – Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories (teara.govt.nz)

    • Populuxe1 2.1

      Te reo training should be a compulsory part of induction.

      • Descendant Of Smith 2.1.1

        Yeah cause you can learn Te Reo in a one/two/three/four week induction course as well as everything else you have to learn.

        What a moronic thing to say.

        • Populuxe1

          You can certainly learn the fundamentals of te reo and tikanga in three or four weeks, and generally speaking induction in large organisations with their own culture can have soft induction carry on for months. You're not going to become a profound orator, certainly, but you will have the structural basics on how to conduct yourself at formal events and a foundation to build on. It's not like I'm suggesting they go on a month-long intensive immersion course of the kind that makes you conversationally fluent.
          Name calling. So charming.

    • weka 2.2

      So one would think after 36 years, a pool would exist of Public servants that had Te Reo skills on their C.V.

      Why would you think that? There are lots of barriers to increasing fluent speakers. If we'd had te re Māori compulsory in schools since 1987, we'd be there now.

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.3

      "So one would think after 36 years, a pool would exist of Public servants that had Te Reo skills on their C.V.

      It should be a requirement for employment and included in remuneration."

      Sounds like there is but it is smallish and they are being renumerated by way of an allowance but some people don't like them being renumerated.

      After 36 years I would think that pakeha baby boomers and employers would have got used to the idea that Maori is an official language in this country, belongs to only New Zealand, is part of our collective cultural heritage, and is encouraged and taught. Seems logical to me.

  3. Ad 3

    Very troubling development, since the natural next step is deep into the hundred-million contracts for construction in road, rail, education, health, transpower, defence, and many more:

    te reo and tikanga are a core part of how Non Priced Attributes are weighted and hence how you win the contract.

    Can easily see this policy being 'slow-walked' by Departments and Crown Entities rather than wreck deep and wide partnerships with iwi that have taken decades to form and grow.

    Looking forward to seeing how the large post-Settlement entities respond to this as well. If they start trying to unwind things too much, this government is going to find itself in the High Court with challenges to contract breaches real fast.

    Also looking forward to Waitangi Day.

  4. observer 4

    The usual play is to say any old rubbish to get a headline in opposition, and then quietly shelve it in government (example: Winston Peters on immigration, repeatedly since the 1990s). In short, you go Brash when you're not in power, and Key when you are.

    So this is new, and stupid. National are creating a future fight, not just with TPM and wider Maoridom but with themselves.

    Six times Stuff asked Māori Crown Relations Minister Tama Potaka if he backed the government’s policy agenda when it comes to Māori or if he’s raised concerns with his cabinet colleagues and Prime Minister. Six times he skirted the question.

    “We have robust debates.”

    Tova O'Brien: Splitting ‘heirs’, giggling gerties and ructions in National over Māori – Parliament is back | Stuff.co.nz

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      Mr Potaka, there is no polite way to put it–is a sell out–a Potato.

      In class terms most Māori are working class, some middle class and from academia, and a tiny group of significant capitalists. Māori do not have to take a certain view anymore than Pākehā or other Tauiwi, but, fudging on full frontal attacks on Māoridom when a member of Parliament is another matter.

    • Thinker 4.2

      Observer, I think I’m of a similar opinion . My opinion is that National doesn't necessarily have anything against Te Reo, but it:

      • Is something that presses the buttons of some National, ACT & NZF voters, and therefore
      • Is likely to garner support from said voters while the coalition does other stuff that may be less palatable.

      In short, dogwhistle politics that happens to align across all three of the coalition partners.

      Divide and Rule.

    • FFOTS 4.3

      It sounds like you're criticising the government for actually following through with their campaign positions. We should all be for governments following this 'new' play.

      • observer 4.3.1

        They had 3 different positions.

        National's was that a referendum on the Treaty would be divisive. Luxon said many times he did not support it.

        So let's hope he does indeed follow through on what he said in opposition. The evidence on other issues so far is not encouraging.

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    After decades of deliberate acts by the state to exterminate te reo (my mother recalled Maori children being smacked for speaking it at her school in the 1940s), this lousy government thinks this despicable move is a priority.

    yuk yuk yuk.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    What do they have against Te reo? Pretty simple. They see a ripping the country apart in a massive culture war as a path to semi-permanent power. The MSM will never concede how heavily they were played by the narrative created by National's vastly expensive, Topham-Guerin orchestrated social media campaign the fed and reinforced the talking points of the last GE in this country. A less parochial and slightly more curious local press would consider the parallels with the Tory playbook we are seeing here, although they are more likely to simply revel in the clicks provided gratis by the culture war bonanza these divisive social media manipulators give them.

    Luxon's rhetoric is heavily infused with the sort of language that comes out of the think tanks that provide the intellectual heft behind the Tory hard right in the UK, and one of his first acts as opposition leader was to head to the UK and attend various gab-fests organised by those groups. A playbook of a massive transfer of wealth to a plutocratic elite under the cover of austerity all obscured by a divisive internal culture war gleefully stoked by a right wing media ecosystem is exactly how TopHam-Guerin have been used in the UK and Australia.

    What worries me is NZ is not the UK or Australia and Maori offer a significant axis of organised and serious non-state power that has the means and the will to fight back, and fight back hard.

    • Tiger Mountain 6.1

      Correct. There is a whole parallel Māori world out there that knob heads like Luxon would barely be aware exists.

      Iwi built capacity during COVID and the Māori birth rate is at replacement level unlike non Māori at 1.6%.

      The new Govt. is buying a fight that is going to bite them. If Ihumatāo was any guide a whole lot of new gen NZers are going to support Māoridom in this.

    • AB 6.2

      Agree with that as a description of the broader picture. With an addition – I don't think it's only about waging a perpetually winnable culture war. It's also to de-fang Maori as that "significant axis of organised and serious non-state power" that you call them. Because that power is a potential obstacle to "the transfer of wealth to a plutocratic elite".

    • They see a ripping the country apart in a massive culture war as a path to semi-permanent power.

      Just as Muldoon did in 1981 with the Springbok tour!

      Deeply cynical and divisive!

    • tc 6.4

      +100 money changes everything

    • roblogic 6.5

      The Right has stoked racial resentment, fear of a Māori elite, and old canards of Welfare bludgers and gangsters.

      Its army of malevolent manlets like Farrar and Whaleoil freely toss around terms like 'apartheid' and 'racism', inverting their meaning, and tell their readers that they are victims of an evil left wing globalist conspiracy to wipe out whitey. And other lies about scary native tribes somehow running away with the water supplies.

      Most of the discourse is poisoned by stupidity and myths that "feel" true to a confused and poverty stricken working class struggling to manage the cost of living. Māori are just a convenient scapegoat

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    Te reo Māori is like the flame atop a lantern – it burns more and more brightly as fuel increases and oxygen becomes more available. Te reo is an indicator of the health and vigour of tangata whenua and is burning more brightly by the day. Frightened by the overt signs of strength, those who seek to contain the expansion and power of Māori, try to smother that flame. Such a effort can easily result in the would-be extinguishers getting badly burned 🙂

    • roblogic 7.1

      I hope the Kaumatua and Rangatira at Turangawaewae will respond with their customary wisdom and restraint. Because there is no shortage of hotheads (on both sides) willing to make rash displays of anger

      • Obtrectator 7.1.1

        Unfortunately, it's the ones trying to restrain the hotheads who'll be the first casualties, as in any other conflict between extremists. ("Those who aren't with us are against us!") The polar opposites need each other more than they need the poor sods in the middle – without an enemy to fight against, what's the justification for your own existence?

  8. Peter 8

    My feeling is it’s all tied up in the fear of (primarily in this case) white people thinking they’re not in charge of the world.

    The advantages to our society in having people fluent in Te Reo shouldn’t need to be said.

    Nicola Willis is quoted as wanting the allowance gone. The move paints her as an ignorant, short sighted fool.

    The words ‘brain fart’ and ‘insult’ are used in the post. Of course it is far, far worse than that.

    • roblogic 8.1

      Yep it's the last gasp of the old guard afraid of losing their privilege. They see a new generation rising to claim their birthright and disrupt Pakeha supremacy.

      The ongoing colonial project to plunder NZ is coming to an end and the biggest bludgers in Aotearoa (the 1% who own 99% of everything) are gonna lose their free ride.

  9. Terry 9

    The real issue is that relatively very few people speak maori or te reo. Many, many more people speak English only.

    Also, for those of us who left school prior to the mid 1990’s. And depending on how good/bad the state school we attended, weather or not our parents were professionals, tradesmen or common oiks, many of us were excluded from being able to learn any language, and received a barely adequate education.

    Te reo is now a liberal middle class white status symbol, similar to those who were permitted to learn French in high school back in the 70’s and’80’s. It is now used to divide people not to bring us together.

    [Please fix your email address in your next comment, thanks – Incognito]

    • Incognito 9.1

      Mod note

    • observer 9.2

      Te reo has been an official language for 36 years. No government, National or Labour, has shown any interest in changing that.

      Let's say that somebody has left formal education before then. If they learned only one word every three months they would now know around 150 words in Te reo. Frankly, even if somebody tried very hard not to learn anything, they would still acquire some knowledge just by existing in NZ.

      If the concern is that older people (I'm one) cannot understand a few words over several decades, then how can we ever cope with everything else that has arrived since the 1980s? We had no idea about e-mail or passwords or swipe cards, mobile phones were scarce, the internet didn't even exist. And yet we adapt.

      People naturally fear change. Especially rapid change. But accepting use of an official language has been change that makes a snail seem like Usain Bolt.

      Billions of people around the world can cope with far greater language challenges. It is the monolingual, insular Anglophones who think they are the norm. They aren't.

    • bwaghorn 9.3

      Say after me , waka ko tahi .

      There now that didn't hurt at all!!

      • Terry 9.3.1

        No, can’t be bothered. Besides the appropriate state authorities in our education system determined that I was not to learn another language, and it may be considered to be disobedient if I were to do so…

        But seriously, between working, supporting my family and extended family, and everything else that grown adults do, I occasionally have some free time each weekend about 4:30pm on a Sunday, and considering that should I miss pronounce something in te reo, it is considered a hanging offence by certain types of people who live their life virtue signalling to others , I just don’t have the time, energy or quite frankly the desire to learn a language that has no use to me.

        I can also assure you that there are plenty of people, who do vote left, that feel the same

        So maybe some of you on the left who do speak te reo, and expect everyone else to speak it, just need to lighten up about the issue.

        • observer

          When have you had any interaction with a government department or similar, which has required you to speak Te Reo?

          I can't speak the language, and don't need to. I go to hospital and all medical information and treatment is in English. Some signs in Te Reo, usually bi-lingual, don't send me off to the wrong ward.

          Your life is not affected in any way by a new name, any more than Spark instead of Telecom or OneNZ or whatever they keep changing their names to.

          • Terry

            Well I have from time to time been spoken at, by someone who I assume was speaking te reo, who was bemused or insulted, when I told them that I had no understanding whatsoever of what they were saying. I’m generally quite polite when dealing with people, especially when I’m on the clock for my employer.

            So sorry but from my experience, I have little desire to learn te reo. And I also have no desire to be humiliated by middle class virtue signalling prats who are trying to make themselves look good, by making others feel less than them.

            • roblogic

              Nah I think a lot of Kiwis just enjoy Te Reo and expressing themselves in a unique Aotearoan way. It's a bit misanthropic to assume the worst of everyone speaking to you. Probably better for your own wellbeing to try being less grumpy about the changing world.

              • Terry

                If I’m being spoken to at a official event, that I’m attending on behalf of my employer, in a language that I don’t speak. I shouldn’t be insulted, belittled or disrespected for advising that person that I don’t understand the language. So it’s not me being grumpy. My colleague who looks “Indian” was automatically spoken to in English by the same person, without any issue.

                • roblogic

                  Perhaps try apologising for your lack of understanding instead of being obnoxious and dismissive?

                  • Terry

                    I generally do politely advise people that I don’t understand, or have had not heard what has been said. So not my problem really if someone else is just obnoxious. This shouldn’t be any different if the listener has hearing loss for example. Like I said some people take great delight in putting other people down. I’m experienced enough in dealing with people to cope with challenging situations when it comes to communicating with others. But lately there has been an issue with som people judging others because their lack of knowledge especially with te reo. The result of this will just put up barriers.

              • francesca

                I have a teensy amount of Maori heritage from way back in 1826, mostly brought up Pakeha

                But speaking te reo in the totally natural way of using words like whanau, mahi,puku,Kai, whenua etc gives me a wonderful feeling of a very specific connection to NZ/Aotearoa

                Same with being able to pronounce place names correctly

                There's a richness there for us

            • observer

              You keep inventing straw men here.

              Nobody is forcing you to learn it. Nobody at all.

              (Though I've seen countless cases of people in NZ being belittled because they couldn't speak English. If you want to find language victims, talk to them).

        • Populuxe1

          I've you've never picked up any te reo by osmosis from the media and can't recognise a greeting from basic context, there must be something seriously wrong with you.

        • bwaghorn

          I'm not going to learn it either but getting upset because Maori is above pakeha is stupid , thos really I'd just hate dressed as supposed making life easy for older kiwis ,

        • Robert Guyton

          "No, can’t be bothered."

          There you go then.

          I reckon there's no one "on the left who do speak te reo, and expect everyone else to speak it"

          No one.

          Good story though, bro.

          • Pat

            Not quite true Robert…I have a family member (works for a local body) who was told that there was no prospect of promotion if they didnt speak Te Reo….that may change now but 6 months ago it had something of an impact…especially as he spoke 4 other languages.

            There is promoting a language (culture) and then there is discrimination.

            Im old school….equality is is blind to culture

            • Robert Guyton

              Were they required to be fluent, Pat?

              Or familiar with common usage?

              Big difference, imo.

              • Pat

                The statement that was made was if he didnt speak Te Reo he would not be promoted….he works in IT.

                I wont mention the languages he speaks or the council for fear of doxing him.


                • Robert Guyton

                  Asking what was meant by, "speak te reo".

                  Can say, "Kiaora", or more?

                  No one knows, till he tells us.

                  • Pat

                    Im pretty confident he can give the usual greetings….no Robert im sad to say the expectation appeared to be fluency (or at least something approaching it)….but then that is much of the problem, nobody knows quite what is expected, do they?

                • observer

                  But this is exactly the problem. I don't question your word (and have no way of assessing his) but if the story is true it is not about Te Reo at all. It is about employment law.

                  There are always these stories without specifics, anecdotes which either

                  1) cannot be tested, or

                  2) are about something else.

                  If it was exactly "you must speak Te Reo" he should seek legal advice. If it was about other things (e.g. willingness to include professional development as part of his work) then it has been misrepresented.

                  • Pat

                    Bollocks…it is entirely about culture wars.

                    Yes he could challenge it with legal or union advice but where would it leave him (and his family)

                    It is an unspoken and undefined 'requirement'.

                    It is, I suggest a very large part of why Labour were decimated in the recent election….they were likely to lose due to economic conditions, but they were caned because of the likes of this.

                    • observer

                      Then it is no different from all the "unspoken" requirements (women mustn't get pregnant, don't be old, etc, etc).

                      Illegal, therefore must be challenged. Saying "don't want to tackle unfairness, but do want to complain about it instead" is frankly pathetic.

                    • Pat

                      Fuck that is such a weak defence….its crap and people voted accordingly

                      The question that ACT is asking may be ‘is it illegal?’
                      Can you answer that question?

                • Populuxe1

                  I call bullsht.
                  All of a sudden, he speaks multiple languages but to say which ones will somehow give away his identity? And very vague about what constitutes "speak te reo" – if said company requires its senior management to be able to deliver a mihimihi at public engagements, that's hardly an expectation of perfect fluency. And in the real world that would be a reason to go to court anyway.

                  • Pat


                    He speaks 4 languages, he works for a council, he was told if he didnt learn Te Reo he wouldnt be promoted….if you spoke 4 languages(assumin they knew), and worked for an organisation how long do you think it would be before someone identified you?

                    He may not be senior management (at the moment) but under the regime he was working under if he didnt speak Te Reo he never would be….irrespective of his capability in IT….do you think that is fair, or even good for the community?

              • Terry

                Robert, in some places the ability to appear “woke” (sorry I can’t come up with a better term) so speaking te reo, having the correct pronouns on email signatures, being a “trans ally” etc certainly carries weight for future advancement. This can be ahead of the actual ability to do the job. So it is happening, people do take notice and get resentful about it. From my experience with my team at work, even the younger ones are quite cynical about it. And I feel that a good number of them who would have voted green or labour, voted for ACT.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Terry – you don't define, "speaking te reo". Do you mean using some phrases at certain moments, or do you mean fluency in all situations. If the latter, you have some credibility, if the former, you have none, imo. It's not difficult to learn some basic greetings, unless you are ideologically opposed – are you?

                  It's no different from being required to be polite – if you and your team, can't bring yourselves to do that, then you reveal yourselves as oppositionalists.

                  • Terry

                    Robert, I feel that the concern is more about being judged, or having behaviour being policed, by the self appointed busybodies who have joined the certain networks, like the LGBT community with my employer. (Just an example). Sorry this is going beyond the whole language thing…

                    Unfortunately the perceived expectation is that we all (especially young people and specifically young women) should hold certain “correct views” if they don’t, then they my find themselves being the subject of complaints.

                    In general I shouldn’t be concerned, as legally this thing isn’t a problem. But it creates a chilling effect, causes stress and disharmony in the workplace.

                    Im all for developing people, but people need to be treated with respect and dignity. I find it disturbing when one of my valued team decided to resign because of the effects of being singled for certain “transgressions” which are of no concern within the workplace. For me it’s a great loss to my employer, and she will lose out on some opportunities. But to have a distraught young woman, wanting to throw everything away, because she can’t face coming into work, for fear of ostracism is very concerning.

                • observer

                  Let us know when one of these cases (real or imagined) goes to an employment tribunal.

                  It's funny, there are cases in the media all the time about employer/employee disputes. You'd think one of these great Te Reo injustices would make it to court sometime.

                  But they never do. Almost as if they are actually grudges about something else.

                  • Terry

                    Observer, unfortunately plenty of people do walk out of a job because of bullying. They don’t take a personal grievance, because it’s hard to prove, the emotional distress isn’t worth it, they worry about future employment… the list goes on. For me there is only so much I can do, even when the bullying is more upfront.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Terry – I'm sorry to hear you've been bullied. I feel mislead by your initial focus on te reo Māori but have set that aside, wishing more to support you in your upsetting circumstance. Perhaps you might reconsider the value of te reo, given the genuine feelings many here, and many more in the wider community, have for it. Personally, and from the point of view of someone who doesn't feel at all pressured to use it, te reo Māori is an opportunity to describe the world in poetic form, in a way that English makes far more difficult, because of its complexity. That's my reason for liking te reo, for what it (my opinion) is worth 🙂

        • newsense

          Well take the 15-20 minutes an hour you bluster bullshit on the internet and make some flash cards or use the online resources available.

          Or talk yourself into a jail of your feeble rot minded bs.

          Or if you’d prefer watch Deadlands or Moana with the Maori subtitles. Take a few bites of new words and expressions. Rewatch interesting parts and repeat after the characters.

          What you are saying is that Maori is beneath you- but then so too is French probably. British Britain is all we need!

          • Terry

            Actually if my memory serves me correctly, I’d been advised by state authorities in the school system, that I’m the one who is beneath being educated, so I guess French, te reo, or any other language is way out of my league and is only for my betters.

            So as you’re obviously a mind reader, or have some psychic abilities (as you seem to believe that you know “what I’m really saying”) Do you have the winning lotto number for this Saturday?

    • joe90 9.4

      Te reo is now a liberal middle class white status symbol


      Most New Zealanders have an implicit Te reo vocabulary.


      We investigate implicit vocabulary learning by adults who are exposed to a language in their ambient environment. Most New Zealanders do not speak Māori, yet are exposed to it throughout their lifetime. We show that this exposure leads to a large proto-lexicon – implicit knowledge of the existence of words and sub-word units without any associated meaning. Despite not explicitly knowing many Māori words, non-Māori-speaking New Zealanders are able to access this proto-lexicon to distinguish Māori words from Māori-like nonwords. What's more, they are able to generalize over the proto-lexicon to generate sophisticated phonotactic knowledge, which lets them evaluate the well-formedness of Māori-like nonwords just as well as fluent Māori speakers.



      New Zealanders who do not speak Māori have a relatively large Māori proto-lexicon, consisting of more than a thousand phonological sequences that recur with statistical regularity in the language.


      • James Simpson 9.4.1

        Do you think that dropping Te Reo words into English sentences is actually speaking or understanding Te Reo?

        All you are doing is speaking a unique dialect of English. We are introducing new words to New Zealand English. For example one of the following two sentences is in English and one is in Te Reo.

        Kia ora. My whanau and I are having a good time and eating kai.

        Kia ora. Kei te harikoa matou ko toku whanau me te kai kai.

        • joe90

          I said nothing about actually speaking or understanding Te Reo?

          I said that IMO the implicit Te reo vocabulary of most New Zealander's makes a nonsense of the claim that Te reo is now a liberal middle class white status symbol.

          • gsays

            "Te reo is now a liberal middle class white status symbol."

            From this korero, I get the vibe that Terry is meaning that use of Te Reo is being weaponised by liberal middle class. A'la virtue signalling.

            In the workplace, that weaponising is far more damaging.

        • Robert Guyton

          "All you are doing is speaking a unique dialect of English"

          Or a unique dialect of Māori, nei rā?

    • Populuxe1 9.5

      Te reo is Māori. Don't be obtuse. And even my right wing baby boomer father knows that Te Wai Pounamu is the South Island just from watching the weather report on One News, so don't give me that crap.

      • Terry 9.5.1

        Thank you for essentially advising me that my experience doesn’t count to me.

        The issue is that many, many people were excluded from learning another language at high school. This is not our fault, unless you consider it’s my, or our fault for not choosing to be born to wealthy or professional white parents, who were considered important enough to receive a decent education.

        It’s going to take generations for te reo to really take hold, expecting people speak te reo in order for them to employable is unrealistic.

        • Populuxe1

          You keep harping on about high school like human experience suddenly ends when you enter the real world. No one is demanding fluency, just a basic familiarity of what some commonly used words mean, which is usually obvious from context. No one is suggesting you should be packed off to a re-education camp because you can't deliver a pepeha. We'll settle for not getting the vapours when someone says "Tena koe" or "Aotearoa".

          • Terry

            My experience at state schools was to put it bluntly, horrific, and it was sanctioned by the teachers at these schools. All of whom were respectable liberal middle class white teachers who belonged to the teachers unions, and were supposedly dedicated to educating children.

            I do appreciate that times may have changed since then. But some stories I have heard from some of the younger people who work for me suggest that things have not really changed.

            As I have kept saying, those of us who were locked out of learning another language have great difficulty at learning one as grown adults.

            It is irrelevant that we may pick up te reo by “osmosis”. Different people have different learning styles, for some of us learning a different language, even just a few words or phrases can be exceptionally difficult, and can be explained by how our brains developed while young.

            I have no desire to explain my background to someone who I hardly know, and who has no basic respect for others. In order to excuse myself for not understanding te reo.

            • Robert Guyton

              Terry – when you say, "te reo" – what do you mean?

              • Terry

                Robert, I’m terribly sorry, but if you don’t know, I afraid that I can’t help you. But there is this new fangled thing called google, that may, or may not help you

                [Please again correct your email address in your next comment, thanks – Incognito]

            • Populuxe1

              Just say that you don't want to learn. The resources are there. I only ever formally studied German at high school, and a semester of Ancient Greek at uni. I taught myself French, Italian, Latin, Spanish, some te reo Māori and a smattering of Czech and Russian in my late 30s and 40s, but that was because I actually wanted to. And I'm not especially good at languages either.
              Not that I'm expecting anyone to follow my example, but I find the excuses a bit tedious.

              • Terry

                Populuxe1, we all have different learning abilities I guess. Some people have great difficulty in learning languages, especially as adults. I’ve known people who have trouble with the language they grew up with, due in part to their language processing abilities.

                If someone has not learned a second language, such as te reo, or any other language, while young, it’s not their fault. But some people have found themselves being judged, this is not at all helpful in encouraging people to take up te reo.

                • Populuxe1

                  If you go into histrionics just because someone says "Aotearoa" you bloody well deserve to be judged.

        • observer

          Some of the things that I struggle with now …

          Not being able to write cheques any more. Those self-service checkouts in supermarkets. Touch screens at the fast food places. Not getting paper receipts I can read. All the things on my computer like updates that I didn't ask to happen, but happening anyway. All that scanning with QR codes, especially in peak Covid.

          Why am I forced to learn new things all the time, it's not fair, etc, etc.

          Compared with all that, somebody saying tamariki or waka kotahi is a piece of cake.

        • newsense

          Your self defeating negativity doesn’t count.

          I mean I would feel sorry for you, except Maori had 80 odd years of having their own language beaten out of them by colonial schools. Billy T couldn’t speak Maori.

          Fuck you for the stress of having to deal with the odd person who disagreed with the worldview you inherited.

          Yep adults were violent cunts as the norm in the old days, and you, representing a tired shut off stuck in the mud mindset, are showing exactly why we should be happy for progress.

          You can either say- here’s my story and this is why I feel that way. Or you can say na, na, na, na, NO, don’t wanna, it’s all the fault of…

          And yep learning new languages when you’re a kid is great. But it is far from impossible as an old bloke too. Look at the old Chinese migrants who came in the early 2000s, among others. And many others.

          If your story is I’m of British decent and I don’t want to speak Maori as it isn’t my culture, then I’d respect that a lot more than all this other guff. At least that’s honest.

          I’ve tried learning several other languages. And yeh people mocking you sucks, but they’re probably dickheads anyway. Ignore them. I have forgotten most of my languages, including my Maori because I haven’t been required to use it.

          But if you try, you get a buzz of success. I remember two clear points- my first powhiri when I managed to get through some set formal phrases and also when traveling overseas I managed to order a pizza and give my address. I know people who are able to pick a language sleeping dictionary styles, but I’m not that capable! Another guy I knew on his travels avoided study, got a note book and went to the pubs, talked to everyone and wrote down everything he heard so that he could understand (ie not with correct spelling or anything).

          There’s plenty of ways in if you can convince yourself it’s worth doing. That’s really the hard part.

        • Chess Player

          I agree Terry, it is unrealistic to expect that people can speak te reo in order to get a job. In some people's idealist world, that situation might exist, but not for practical people.

          There will be some jobs (a very small number in the scheme of things) where it is genuinely required, and a larger number (but still a relatively small number in the scheme of things) where it would probably be useful.

          And we all know that people are innately selfish, which is why Labour had to bribe most public servants to learn re reo, otherwise they would have just done it under their own volition.

          I took (and paid for) a course myself, as I figured that if I live in NZ I should probably know how to pronounce the words correctly, but that's as far as it went for me.

          If I was reliant on such skills to do my job I would just get on and organise that for myself, but I am not, so I don't. I'm clear on my own identity and don't need to adopt someone else's, and nor do I expect others to adopt mine.

          Your experience of the state-funded learning system is as valid as anyone else's, and probably not that different to my own – this is why Kohanga Reo, charter schools etc are quite important to have as alternatives to the mainstream education system.

          The more diversity we have the better, in my view, as that's always been where the creativity, and growth, come from.

  10. Populuxe1 10

    All in all, I don't think National does hate te reo. It's at worst insensitive to tikanga and doesn't like paying bonuses for what should be standard in the public service. That's fairly typical for National. The most egregious policies are sops to NZF (use of te reo in official communications and titles) and ACT (a select committee on the principles of Te Tiriti).
    It's worth noting that in both cases neither minor party got the totality of what they wanted. I don't agree with their reasons why, though I'm not averse to having English granted an official status and if I had been Labour I would have been far more proactive in preparing the introduction for the widespread use of te reo in official coms instead of just expecting people to immediately understand certain terminologies. That was never going to go well, especially when we have a high level of immigration from Asia where they're going to be highly reliant on English.
    As for ACT, I strongly suspect that all a select committee is going to tell them is that the Waitangi Tribunal has already established the meaning and application of the principles of Te Tiriti over many decades. Mercifully all of these things are reversable, but some people are carrying on as though these policies are unchallengeable, locked in forever, or that National is depriving te reo of its official status or banning it completely.

  11. Mike the Lefty 11

    I would like to see details of how much it will cost to remove Te Reo from official documents and signage. A better example of wasteful spending would be difficult to find. It is a silly unnecessary exercise done purely for ideological reasons, not because it will make anything easier.

    • tc 11.1

      Manufacturing a culture war isn't cheap. The taxpayer now picks up the tab as the well funded social media campaign isn't required anymore.

      You'd like to see one of the media pack ask that question but they're all probably remembering what happened during the key era if you persisted in wanting a plausible response.

  12. BK 12

    How on earth do we as a nation understand the haka before a rugby match if we don't know what Waka Kotahi means! Best they gas that to 🙂 ( tongue firmly in cheek)

  13. That_guy 13

    I find myself agreeing with quite a few positions on this thread.

    Te Reo is an official language of this country and government departments need to have the capacity to deal with fluent speakers. I don't have a problem with committing resources to that end. Doing it as a bonus payment system is a strategy I'd support, as long as it actually works and the people who end up fluent as a result of this strategy meet a current or reasonably predictable future need. Are the people who end up fluent on-call to respond if a fluent Te Reo speaker walks into MAFF on Lambton Quay and wants to talk about (for example) forestry slash on the East Coast?

    That said, I see Te Reo being latinised. As in: for many people, it fulfils the same role as Latin does in Great Britain.

    Not a living language, just an appendage on the side of English that upper-class people and members of the professional/managerial class use to assert membership in that class. And to assert membership in this class, you don't even need to be fluent, or even close to it. You can just sprinkle a few words and hybrid phrases into your speech, like "doing the mahi" and "this kaupapa is important" or "let's korero" often in ways that fluent speakers find weird or incomprehensible. Chuck in a karakia you don't even understand and you're golden.

    It's a bit like when Boris Johnson goes on ad nauseam about he's going to carpe diem and wonders cui bono? And I just mentally translate those phrases as "I went to Eton, I went to Eton, I went to Eton!"

    Morena is a direct transliteration from English.

    • Populuxe1 13.1

      A little hint from an old linguist. If a language is borrowing words from other languages and transliterating them in natural usage, it's clearly a living language. Dead languages don't bother.

      • That_guy 13.1.1
        1. Latin is a dead language.
        2. The word “Morena” has come straight from English, into “te reo”, and now straight back into English

        You have not assuaged my concern that Te Reo is being latinised at all. We want the same thing, for Te Reo to be a living thriving language. I just don’t think you achieve that by attaching small parts of it to the side of English. Are more people occasionally using words from Te Reo? Sure, but often in a way that makes no sense to fluent speakers. Are more people speaking Te Reo every day as their first or only language? Are there growing communities where it’s the only day-to-day language spoken? Excuse me if I don’t think the occasional phrase or performative karakia is going to cut it.

        • Populuxe1

          You're conflating two unrelated things. Te reo Māori in New Zealand English is an organic evolution going back to the early 1800s. People living in close proximity borrow words from each other. That's nothing like dropping Latin tags into a conversation. They are two completely different registers of communication. It is an intrinsic quality of New Zealand English and has been since the whalers first started turning up.
          That New Zealand English adopts certain Māori words in a formal setting is a recognition of tikanga and mana whenua. That has nothing to do with the status of te reo Māori as a living language, which thanks to multiple generations of Kōhanga Reo and other initiatives, is still very much in use independently of New Zealand English. I have no idea why you're fixated on "Morena" as a borrowed word. Living languages borrow words all the time. Making the status of living language conditional on it being pure is absurd.

    • Robert Guyton 13.2

      Not a living language?

      Seems pretty lively to me!

      • That_guy 13.2.1

        Are you a fluent speaker who has entire conversations daily in Te Reo ? Or do you attach the occasional word to another language?

        If you aren’t actually speaking Te Reo then your reckons don’t really count.

        • Robert Guyton

          Yet somehow, your "reckons" do?

          Yours is a puzzling comment, That_guy.

          • That_guy

            My reckons concide with Kiri Allen's reckons, so there you go. She expressed concern about "tokenism". Look it up.

            But fair point, you’re entitled to your reckons and I’m entitled to mine.

            • Robert Guyton

              If your Māori grandmother used, "Morena" as a greeting, and her daughter did also, and now you do, is it a Māori word, That_guy?

              • That_guy

                I have no idea, because I do not have a Māori grandmother, or a Māori daughter, or any Māori relatives, and I prefer not to offer an opinion on a phrase with that many If's.

                Taking a step back, if a word is used in Māori by fluent speakers who speak it as their first or only language to conduct their day-to-day affairs, then yes, because I do understand that languages change over time. I have no idea whether that's actually occurring, all I know is that in my experience Morena is used as a word in English.

      • That_guy 13.2.2

        Also I said that I am concerned that Te Reo is being latinised, not that it has been.

        In other words I'm saying: this road of attaching the occasional word of Te Reo to English and forcing people to mouth karakia that they do not understand, and then calling it "progress"? This may lead to Te Reo being effectively dead. Like Latin. I'm not saying it's happened already. And given how many Labour ministers (eg Kiri Allan) were expressing concerns about "tokenism" when it comes to Te Reo, I don't think I'm the only one who has these concerns.

        There are very few fluent speakers who are also good teachers, forcing those teachers to spread their work among people who often don't want to learn (and resent being forced to) is a way to kill the language. It would be better IMHO to concentrate Te Reo teaching among people who really want to learn to the level of fluency.
        This isn’t a reckon, there was a published paper recently that made these points exactly, unfortunately I cannot find it but I know it was published.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          I remember having a similar discussion with kuia in the mid-eighties They were quite opposed to teaching too many Europeans the language when so many Maori needed access to those resources.

          We also had a bit of political discussion about where the point was that there was sufficient understanding of Maori culture to be informed and useful – versus pakeha thinking they could now make decisions that impacted on/for Maori because they were now knowledgeable (in their own eyes). The dangers of teaching the oppressor your ways and customs.

          This is where the "by Maori for Maori" has more strongly emerged in a positive way. To some extent a refusal by pakeha to learn Maori in depth and to say – if you want that expertise put and pay for Maori with that expertise in positions of authority is a valid form of protest. I detest the consultation with Maori for free – we don't consult with Price Waterhouse Coopers and their ilk for free so why should we expect it for free from Maori. Has never made sense to me.

          I see the same thing with disability – if you want a sign language translator you could just employ some deaf people. Apparent that is a step too far for most employers.

          Then there were "spuds" a term quite common in the 80's for "brown on the outside, white on the inside". Don't hear this much now but I suspect it is much more nuanced now. Many who were seen as spuds back in the day had often never set foot on a marae.

          And dialect is an issue – uncles used to pretend they could not understand their grandchildren who came back from university speaking the non-local dialect. Could be quite amusing at times.

          • That_guy

            I detest the consultation with Maori for free

            Totally agree. In my limited experience it isn't free, there is a culture of koha, but it isn't universally applied and it's often just to cover costs.

            I really wish I could find that damn paper, it was a statistical analysis that said: this is how many people are both fluent speakers and good motivated teachers, this is how many people we are proposing to force to learn, this is how many people actually want to learn, conclusion > major problem.

          • That_guy

            To some extent a refusal by pakeha to learn Maori in depth and to say – if you want that expertise put and pay for Maori with that expertise in positions of authority is a valid form of protest.

            Actually a good point I had not considered. Personally I think not sprinkling Te Reo into English is a totally ethical position because some people just don't like performative tokenism and some people stick to the adage "if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well". I personally try to be very precise with my language and I just don't like using words when I don't really know the meaning of that word. Plus, I don't like it because I think it's just another way for upper-class muppets like me to shove working people down because they "just don't understand" or "haven't educated themselves".

            • Descendant Of Smith

              At the same time many people who have grown up in communities where both Maori and English has been spoken oft flow effortlessly between the two with mixed vocabulary not uncommon when speaking in English.

              Not tokenism but a common casual use of words such as hui and whanau and korero etc where both parties are well aware of what is being conveyed.

              I don't think it has to be an either/or in everyday conservation at least. And sometimes there is no real english equivalent e.g. manaakitanga for example which is much more complicated to convey in English.

              It is great that these days people aren't afraid to use Maori words and concepts as part of our everyday conversations. Normalisation is a good thing. Normalisation long term will help all New Zealanders pronounce people's names and place names correctly which helps give people dignity and is more respectful.

  14. newsense 14

    Labour and the opposition needs to offer a policy to pay extra to anyone who has a spoken and written fluency in a second language.

    Not as much as Maori, given its official status and our role as Kaitiaki of Te Reo, but still acknowledging the importance of these skills for an island nation.

    Multiple fluencies even more.

    • Incognito 14.1

      You don’t say.

      This is part of the Language Assistance Services Programme, which was established in 2017 to implement the recommendations of a comprehensive review of the provision of interpreting and other language assistance services across the public sector. [my italics]


      • newsense 14.1.1

        I guess I meant across the public sector in general. The same way many collective agreements pay more for a certain level of qualification, a recognised proficiency certificate in a language at a certain level should just get a bump irrespective.

    • Populuxe1 14.2

      Which would be highly ironic given the number of university language departments that got shuttered and languages dumped from high schools under Labour…

      • newsense 14.2.1


        Maybe it’ll be a different Labour or we’ll see a different approach to language learning entirely.

        But, ouch. Yes. Lest we forget.

  15. Pat 15

    Canada has had a bilingual policy since 1969….and as this article demonstrates after 50 years bilingualism is in decline.


    • Visubversa 15.1

      Having recently been in Montreal and Vancouver, I can state that bi-lingualisn is alive and well. In Montreal, the signage is in French and English, and in Vancouver, the signage is in English and French (and at the airport and several other places, in Chinese as well).

      • Pat 15.1.1

        Yes in Quebec French is predominant…the rest of Canada not so…as the article notes, after 50 years the level of french speaking is declining…and I also note the secession movement of Quebec from Canada…is that what we seek?

        May be a little more problematic in NZ where we dont have a particular governmental region of predominant Maori cultural identity as there is in Quebec.

        I may add that Quebec French is somewhat different to French French….somewhat akin to a Glaswegian speaking English, not necessarily decipherable.

      • Obtrectator 15.1.2

        Has Quebec liberalised somewhat lately, regarding the language question? When I was in Montreal about twenty years ago, it was actually illegal to display any signage in English.

  16. observer 16

    Audrey Young's Herald article is paywalled, but Gordon Campbell quotes from it, listing just some of the rollbacks planned …

    Community Scoop » On The Government’s Assault On Maori

    Again, we should not lose sight of the underlying point here, because it defines the government. The 3 divergent parties have to find things they can agree on. It's not about what are the most important priorities, it's about what is left standing after they've all blocked each other's original policies.

  17. Pat 17

    It is interesting to consider how Cantonese and Mandarin are used.

    Cantonese is the far more original language being some thousands of years old whereas Mandarin is a relatively new language (simplified?)….Mandarin is now spoken by far more people than Cantonese by a factor of ten….and even so is less spoken than english.

    • Populuxe1 17.1

      Mandarin just refers to the northern group of dialects and has been spoken in Beijing for over a millennium. That would make it about the same age as English. Cantonese is the Guangzhou dialect. I don't know where you get the "Cantonese is the far more original language" nonsense from. Cantonese only became a prominent dialect in the 1700s when Guangzhou became the main Chinese trading centre with the West.

      • Pat 17.1.1

        "One of the main reasons Cantonese is of such interest is perhaps because it is significantly older than Mandarin. It was first recorded after the fall of the Han dynasty, around 220AD, over 2000 years ago. In contrast, Mandarin only came into being around 100 years ago. In addition, Cantonese came into being through natural evolution, whereas Mandarin was a top-down ‘creation’, made for a specific purpose: unification and simplification."


        “The speech variety and dialect of Nanjing with the accent of Beijing has been a growing influence at late 19th century. From the late Qing dynasty (1644-1912) to the early Republican era (1912-1949) Mandarin Chinese was formed. ”


        Happy to be corrected

        • Populuxe1

          Cantonese became the prestige dialect of the Yue Chinese group of languages in Southern China during the Southern Song dynasty, which lasted roughly from 960–1279. Early versions of what Europeans began calling Mandarin is found in records going back to the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) which controlled most of China and had its capital in what is now Beijing. Mandarin became the state lingua franca in China by the fourteenth century because Beijing was the imperial capital. Neither dialect is especially closely related, and modern Mandarin is no more "invented" than modern English.
          While I have a great deal of sympathy for Cantonese speakers under the current regime, those blogs you cited have a pretty clear political bias. Mandarin and Cantonese are roughly the same age – also modern Cantonese has had a lot of European influence since the seventeenth century.

          • Pat

            No links i notice but never mind.

            As I understand it Mandarin may (emphasise may) have been the language of the elites…and possibly for some time (centuries even) however the language of the masses was Cantonese….come the opening of China some 100 odd years ago the decision was made to impose Mandarin upon the population (possibly for education purposes, as it was simplified)…something that increased with the advent of the CCCP.

            I may be wrong but I havn’t seen anything to dispel me of that narrative….you’re welcome to provide evidence otherwise.

            • Populuxe1

              Mandarin is the official state language, but as anyone who has been to Guangzhou or Hong Kong can tell you, they all speak Cantonese including the elites, although Beijing has recently cracked down on that. It's not a class thing, it's mainly a regional thing.
              And no, I'm not going to spend my entire day trying to find a convenient link to a reputable article that magically summarises two millennia of Chinese history and cultural-linguistic dynamics. It took me years to get a handle on it all.

              • Pat

                I am well aware that Cantonese is the language of Hong Kong…but you fail to address the points raised.

                It dosnt matter as it is obvious you appear unable to do so.

                Expecting more from a blog is my failing.

                • Populuxe1

                  It's less that I'm unable, and more that I don't want to because it's far too time consuming to unpick. China is very big, very old, and very diverse, and I don't do that kind of grunt labour for free.

                  • Pat

                    Your choice.

                    If it was important to you, you would make the effort.

                    Obviously its not.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Tell it to your imaginary family member who speaks four languages and works at a company that apparently operates in defiance of our employment laws. Maybe they can explain it to you.

                  • Pat

                    My 'imaginary' son in law works for a local government…and as to whether they adhere to employment law Id suggest there are multiple examples over the decades that they pick and choose which laws they adhere to.

                    Perhaps my grandchildren are imaginary as well….tosser.

      • Pat 17.1.2

        I'll tell you a story, cause why not.

        I was in a pub in the 1990s and got into a conversation with a Chinese national…we were discussing Chinas industrialisation and i mentioned that my childrens school wanted them to learn Japanese and I said Id rather they learnt Cantonese (at the time China was basically only interacting with global trade form the south where Cantonese was the main language)…he told me no, learn Mandarin because that was the governments language of business.

        Sad to say my children never learnt either (though one is proficient in french and another in japanese)

        And i may add his english was bloody good

  18. Tricledrown 18

    Two Parties who are competing a dog whistling contest for the white racist Supremacy vote. National happily accepting the support of the twin tails that wag the Dog. Result Dogs breakfast .

  19. DS 19

    National has nothing against the Maori language. They simply find it a handy tool to inflict culture war on the country, as a distraction from class war.

  20. The government is trying to figure out how to stop any more public servants getting extra pay for being proficient in te reo Māori

    Are there public servants that have other specialties or proficiency in things most others aren't that get bonus payments?

  21. observer 21

    As there's some misinformation being spread here, let's look at some evidence. Based on reality.

    Anyone who has other evidence is welcome to provide it, to inform the debate. But it should be something more than "I know this bloke who …".

    Here's an example:

    "By virtue of the Maori Language Act 2016 and its Maihi Karauna strategy, all government workers, particularly those who work with Maori people, should at least have a basic knowledge of te reo Maori, by the year 2040.

    This does not mean that a public servant must learn the language by 2040, but should at least try to pronounce Maori words and names correctly. The challenge for those who want to learn the Maori language is how to learn the language, and how to overcome the challenges of learning a new language."

    Government workers and te reo Maori – Local Government Magazine

    Language oppression or a very mild, very incremental step forward? Looks like the latter to me.

    Oh, just to add …

    That 2016 law was passed under John Key's government, with National and ACT voting in favour. Only NZF voted against.

    • Pat 21.1

      "This does not mean that a public servant must learn the language by 2040, but should at least try to pronounce Maori words and names correctly."

      • observer 21.1.1

        That's why I highlighted it.

        It's clear that the situation for somebody working in local government is very different from the version your family member (via you) has described.

        That is the law. Again, passed by National and ACT.

        • Pat

          Again, he may have the option of contesting it….to what advantage?

          If the organisation (in this instance the Government , who if you may recall, makes the law) determines that de facto those who dont speak Te Reo are not to be in 'management' positions then challenging such is likely to be counterproductive.

          Some brave (foolhardy?) individuals may challenge such but most will either comply or keep their heads down and wait for change.

          Guess what happened.

          • observer

            So you want the law to protect people who don't want to use the protection of the law. We're going around in circles here.

            Since only one of us is citing any evidence, I don't think there's much point taking this discussion further.

          • Robert Guyton

            Pat, please, could you expand on what you mean when you say, " speak Te Reo" – it that fluency, familiarity with some well-understood phrases, comfort with speaking common greetings, ability to pronounce place names – what do you mean by what you say?

            It really matters (to me).

            • Pat

              I cannot elaborate more than that Robert…it was relayed to me that he was told if he didnt speak Te Reo he would not be considered for promotion….as far as I know he didnt enquire what degree of of fluency was required. As said previously it dosnt pay to question the paradigm…unless you feel theres nothing to lose.

              He will be here over Christmas and I imagine it will be discussed so I may have further insight then.

              • Robert Guyton

                Thanks, Pat.

                I can accept that someone who refuses to speak a word of te reo, on principle, might find themselves excluded from some roles.

                Otoh, some roles might necessitate fluency in te reo, and therefore the requirement would be justified.

                Not knowing the details means judging the right or wrong of any situation becomes fraught 🙂

                He pai tera? Kei te tika au?

                • Pat

                  It strikes me as neither good nor fair.

                  He hasnt refused , though he should be able to, he was simply informed that if he didnt he would not be considered for promotion.

                  If there were two candidates for a position that couldnt be seperated on the ability to perform their job and one had the ability to converse in Te Reo and the other did not it could be considered fair to award the position to the person that could, as it is a seperating ability, but to preclude anyone without the ability to converse in Te Reo regardless of their ability to perform the task required is not only unfair but also to the detriment of the community they purport to serve.

                  So not he pai tera nor kei te tika au

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Unless, I suppose, conversing in te reo (is that the level of requirement – that's quite steep!) was a necessary skill for the role.

                    If it wasn't, then sure, there's grounds for discontent. If it was, then the sifting process would be reasonable – to my mind anyway.

                    In an case, I'll leave the issue, as there are too many variables and unknowns for me to comment intelligently – don't really know why I thought I could – guess I'm just nosey 🙂

                    • Pat

                      Ask yourself if you would consider it fair to preclude an immigrant from applying for a position because their standard of english may not be as good as a local….irrespective of their ability to perform the task(s) required.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Is it in the job description seems to be an important question here as well.

                      You can argue the rights and wrongs of whether it should be but I get a sense across both local and central government that there is an expectation for managers that you can at least be comfortable going to a marae on occasion, being able to not cock up local protocols, pronounce names, etc correctly and so on.

                      Does this mean some people who can't do this are disadvantaged in applying for management jobs – absolutely. Just as most management jobs have needing a driver's license in the job description – pretty much excluding many of those with disabilities even though it has nothing to do with actually managing people.

                      The level of English precludes immigrants from management and other positions all the time. Fuck even their name on a CV not being English ( in the same way often Maori names preclude them from jobs, rentals, etc) will disadvantage them.

                      I don't know any employers that don't have quite strong biases and prejudices regardless of legislation. There's employer’s lists of staff who have taken P.G.s as well that circulate amongst employer groups. Is anyone that naive to think employers follow fair recruitment policies?

    • That_guy 21.2

      This does not mean that a public servant must learn the language by 2040, but should at least try to pronounce Maori words and names correctly.

      This is how you Latinise Maori. You make Te Reo a language that isn't really alive but with the occasional word or phase attached to the side of English. And those words are mouthed by upper-class people and members of the professional and managerial classes to assert membership in that class.

      Like I said before, when Boris Johnson says "O tempora! O mores!" or "cui bono?" or "sub judicae", all I hear is "I don't speak fluent Latin but I went to Eton and I'm better than you!".

      I would like Te Reo to be a living language that is spoken as a first or only language by a community, not a performative tack-on to English.

  22. Bill Drees 22

    National wants to paint New Zealand as a white anglo-saxon style ANZUS aligned ‘Western’ & ‘Christian’ country. This is about white supremacy.

    There will be more alignment: the Nuclear Ban will go; Abortion will be limited.

  23. Incognito 23

    Willis is walking back her earlier comments – walking backwards is a prerequisite for Nats, obviously.

    Public Service Minister Nicola Willis is softening her comments to RNZ suggesting the government would prevent bonuses being negotiated for te reo Māori proficiency.


    Of course, as with the repeal of the anti-smoking law, it’s all about the money, or is it?

    She [Willis] noted National had campaigned on the issue when in opposition, with MP Simeon Brown saying they supported public servants learning the language if they wanted to or it was required as part of their job, but taxpayers should not fund special bonuses for those who did.


    NZ First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters argued it was a question of finances.


    "We've got all sorts of things like Māori radio, Māori TV, and all sorts of Māori programmes. There's only so much money.


    ACT leader David Seymour was also keen to keep costs down.


    "I don't think given the fiscal situation – given the challenges with public services, with pay rounds coming for nurses, shortages of GPs – that we can afford to be spending money on things like that."


    "If people can show that spending more money on having te reo lessons for teachers is going to turn around reading, maths and science then I'm all ears. [bloody disingenuous]


    "I agree with our minister of finance, we've got to have a comprehensive review, find every cent we've got because we've got big financial challenges." [my italics]

    However, Willis is either ignorant or Machiavellian when she says:

    She said she was seeking more information about the contracts – and bonuses across the public sector more generally.

    "For example, we have a policy of introducing performance pay for chief executives because we think it's a good way of saying 'if you deliver for people, if you meet the targets we're setting for you, you will be paid more," she said. "So I want to understand what is actually the precedent for bonuses across the public service."

    Question for Willis, will teachers who confiscate the most phones receive a bonus or performance payment?

  24. Robert 24

    Lets get real here folks. What this really is all about is MONEY [deleted]

    [6 month ban for two blatantly racist comments in a row. Read the site Policy and figure out how to work within the guidelines if you want to comment here again. – weka]

  25. tsmithfield 25

    If people really want to learn Te Reo, they will soon be able to learn it on Duo Lingo.

    Duo Lingo is great for obtaining a rudementory knowledge of a language. I taught myself French on that for about six months before going to France. It enabled me to communicate on a basic level.

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    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    6 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    7 days ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
    Over the last few weeks in our weekly roundup we’ve commented on the frequent delays and cancellations that have occurred on the rail network this year since the rail network went back into full operation on the 22-Jan – with Kiwirail proclaiming they had ‘successfully delivered summer holiday infrastructure upgrades ...
    1 week ago
  • National calls in its preferred consultants (again)
    The Government has called in the same economics consultancy that worked on its aborted foreign buyers’ tax to now help design a replacement for Three Waters. Castalia Advisors’ Managing Director, Andreas Heuser, is to head a Technical Advisory Group that Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says is to “contribute specialist ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Step Closer for European Union Free Trade Agreement
    New Zealand has moved closer to ratifying the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the First Reading of legislation to bring the Agreement into force being held in Parliament today.   “Almost a decade after preparatory talks first began on an FTA with the European Union, I’m pleased to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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