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Dr Muriel Newman

Agendas and Demands

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Over the years Waitangi Day has changed from being a celebration of the birth of our nation, when two peoples were united as one, to becoming a grievance day for tribal activists pursuing their Maori sovereignty agenda.

Their demands include everything from the ownership of fresh water, to a new Treaty-based constitution. They want the Maori seats in Parliament to be entrenched, and Maori seats in local government to be guaranteed. They are calling for co-governance rights across all Government agencies – including reserved Maori seats on the new Teaching Council. And they want more taxpayers’ funding for programmes leading to self determination.

For some, their ultimate goal is Maori ownership of New Zealand – as expressed by Tuhoe leader Tamati Krugar in a speech just before Christmas, when he said, “In the distant future there may no longer be Europeans living in Aotearoa, because Europeans live in Europe. That, maybe, in a long distance, the only people you find in Aotearoa are tangata whenua…”

While such talk is fanciful, we shouldn’t forget that thanks to the actions of naive and spineless politicians, who have appeased discontent instead of challenging it, many of the extremist ambitions of iwi leaders are now coming to fruition. Not so long ago goals like the ownership and control of New Zealand’s coastline would have regarded as being so far-fetched as to be laughable – as laughable as the comments above by Mr Krugar. But with our coastline standing on the verge of falling into tribal hands, it is certainly no laughing matter now.

The reality is that the pathway to iwi goals is travelled in small incremental steps rather than giant strides. One such step is the call for more to be done to keep the Maori language alive.

The death cry of te reo is in response to a decline in the proportion of Maori able to hold an everyday conversation in the Maori language. According to the Census, the numbers have fallen from 25 percent in 1996 to 21.3 percent in 2013. The number of fluent speakers of te reo is estimated at 125,000.

This decline has taken on the status of a national crisis with successive Governments committing hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars to the preservation of the language.

An inventory of programmes to support the Maori language in 2009, carried out by Te Puni Kokiri, found that a staggering $596 million was spent: Education $502 million, the Maori Language Broadcasting Commission $57 million, the Ministry of Culture $14 million, the Maori Television Service $13 million, the Maori Language Commission $5 million, and the Ministry of Maori Development $5 million.

Historian Professor Paul Moon, from Auckland University of Technology, who is this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator with extracts from his new book, Killing Te Reo Maori, has researched attempts around the world to keep languages alive, concluding that if the Maori language was a person, it would be on life-support:

“Decades of pronouncements, proposals, plans, policies, and programmes aimed at reviving Te Reo Māori, have acted like an accumulation of grime on the edifice of the language. These accretions need to be cleared away, layer by layer, to get a more detailed impression of the state of the language and thereafter, understand its prospects for survival – if indeed there are any. And ‘survival’ is an apt term. If Te Reo Māori was a person, its condition would be one of a patient on life-support. Its pulse beats weakly, its other vital signs still appear to indicate that there is (faint) cause for hope, but linguistic atrophy is spreading from the extremities to the core, and the entire body is only being given the semblance of life by a large and cumbersome academic and bureaucratic apparatus, which keeps the essential functions working, but little more.”

Professor Moon is scathing about the calls for the language to be made compulsory.

“Of all the techniques that have been experimented with or proposed in the increasingly desperate struggle to revive Te Reo Māori, none is more ineffective than the call for the language to be made compulsory in schools. Compulsion has failed to revive indigenous languages in every territory where it has been implemented, including places where the indigenous language belongs to the majority culture of the area. What is surprising about this repeatedly-advocated ‘solution’ to the slow collapse of Te Reo Māori is that it is finding increasing popular favour in spite of the overwhelming evidence of its complete failure to achieve its desired objective. This speaks of an environment of language revitalisation where desperation and ignorance have become close bedfellows in discussions about saving Te Reo Māori.”

But is it desperation and ignorance, or clever politics?

It appears the movement to revitalise te reo is largely driven by Maori sovereignty activists.

The former co-leader of the Maori Party Marama Fox revealed as much in an interview in the Listener just before the election.  She described how the path to Maori control of New Zealand would take 12 election cycles to achieve and hinged on te reo becoming compulsory in schools.

She said it was all ‘plotted out’: “It would take 36 years – 12 election cycles – for a Maori sovereignty party to share government… it’s a radical vision… but if we believe in it, then we need to march towards it.”

According to Marama Fox, their vision of shared Government involves replacing our Westminster model of Parliamentary democracy with a “unique form of governance that would favour Maori customs, principles and values.”

She explained that the thinking of New Zealanders needs to be shifted to achieve this goal, and a “critical step” is to make “the Maori language a core subject in the country’s schools… People look at things differently once they’ve acquired te reo. It’s a world view. The Maori world view is different and that’s expressed in the language. The language unlocks our history and our thinking.”

In other words, the compulsory teaching of the Maori language is a critical step in the Maori sovereignty movement achieving its ultimate objective – control of the country.

Political support is coming from the Green Party – it believes that te reo should be a “universal core subject alongside English and Maths” in all State schools from years 1 to 10.

The crucial importance to the Maori sovereignty movement, of embedding te reo in the next generation, also explains why those who speak out against the compulsory teaching of the Maori language in schools are subjected to such vicious attacks.

In general, when questions are asked about the substantial public resources being used to prop up the Maori language, the most common response is that because it’s our ‘official’ language it cannot be allowed to die. The ‘official’ language argument is also used by advocates to justify their call for compulsion.

But their arguments don’t stack up. Governments give languages ‘official’ status as a symbol of their importance to segments of the population – and as a gesture of respect. This then allows the language to be used in a variety of ‘official’ situations, such as legal proceedings in Courts and Tribunals, so that those who rely on the language are not disadvantaged.

The fact that a language has official status does not mean it has to be learnt and used by everyone – far from it. That’s evident from a cursory examination of New Zealand’s second official language – sign language. While information about sign language is available in most schools, there are no plans for it to be made compulsory.

Ironically the English language is a compulsory subject in schools, but it’s not an ‘official’ language. English has never needed ‘official’ status, because it’s the universal language of commerce and literature and everyday living – a language that’s embraced all around the world.

Not only is the Maori language being forced onto our kids, but it’s also being used by the New Zealand Geographic Board to erase our European history from place names.

In fairness, the responsibility for using Maori names is written into their Act, with Section 6 stating that In order to recognise the Crown’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi, the Geographic Board must collect the original Maori names of geographic features for recording on official maps, and encourage their use.

With the law allowing anyone to call for a place-name change, many iwi are now doing so and their requests are largely being rubber stamped by the ‘independent’ Board that consists of the Surveyor-General as Chairman, a hydrographic specialist, and eight other members – two appointed by the Minister for Land information, two by the Minister of Maori Development, one from Ngai Tahu (which was negotiated as part of their Treaty Settlement), and one each from the New Zealand Geographical Society, the Federated Mountain Clubs, and Local Government New Zealand.

Radio New Zealand is another Government agency with a responsibility for promoting the Maori language that appears to have ramped up its efforts in recent times.

According to its charter Radio NZ is required to remain politically neutral as “an independent broadcaster to serve the public interest”. But it also has a statutory duty to “reflect New Zealand’s cultural identity, including Maori language and culture”.

This has led to the adoption of a Maori strategy, which states, “RNZ has implemented a new, long-term strategy that represents a commitment to creating high-quality Maori content, supporting Te Reo Maori and fostering Maori journalism. While there will still always be Maori-specific broadcast and online content, RNZ’s strategy puts its emphasis on the integration and normalising of te reo across all its platforms.”

Some of their initiatives include ensuring te reo is heard in almost every RNZ news bulletin, training all employees in the Maori language, and enabling Maori staff to take the lead in live programming on national days such as Waitangi Day.

Their goals for the promotion of Maori language and culture this year include 80 hours of broadcast programming, 1,000 items uploaded to their RNZ website, and 1.1 million views.

As a result of their strategy, many Radio NZ listeners feel that the Maori language is now being used excessively – as Dave Witherow and others recently pointed out. But the vitriolic response from the PC brigade shows just how desperate they are to ensure that no-one disrupts their agenda.

In fact, it seems that political correctness now dictates that the Maori language is featured at almost every public event. From the opening of conferences to sporting prize-givings – even Parliament’s Speaker jumped on the bandwagon by reciting Parliament’s prayer in Maori instead of English, without a translation. 

Coming back to schools: if parents would like their children to learn te reo then it would be great if schools could offer it – just as many now offer Mandarin, French, Spanish, or a selection of other languages spoken around the world.

But they must be realistic. The former Prime Minister Bill English hit the nail on the head when he called te reo “someone else’s language”. He knows that the only way to keep a language alive is through the voluntary commitment of native-speakers in their households, not through compulsory government-enforced classes.

In fact, the experience of the Irish in trying to save the Gaelic language should serve as a warning. In spite of massive government support – in the form of grants, television and radio stations – and the language being made compulsory in schools, it remains in terminal decline. It seems that after 14 years of having it hammered into them at school, students who leave are not only unable to speak it, but they have no desire to use it.

So while the Maori language is an important part of New Zealand, it should not be forced onto anyone – and certainly not impressionable children. It’s time Kiwi’s woke up to the agenda behind the calls for compulsion and said #nomore to Maori radicalism! 


Should te reo become a compulsory subject in New Zealand schools? 


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


When children can read,write and understand english first ,then maybe Maori can be taught on a voluntary basis. Gene
It from my experience, it seems to me that Te Reo Maori is only spoken on marae on significant occasions for that particular marae. In daily life it is seldom used, it is seldom used in commercial business, and is not understood outside New Zealand. Making learning Te Reo Maori in schools would be a waste of time, beter to use an international language like German, French, Spanish or Mandarin. Errol
Definitely NOT! Our schools are not producing well educated children now. To introduce another subject will only cause lower levels of achievement. NZ’s level of education was once one of the highest in the world – now we are nearer the bottom of a long list. Te reo has no recognition anywhere in the world and we are living in global environment. The push for it to be included in our schools is serving only the plans of the sovereignty activists to take control of our nation and future generations. This is both insulting and ludricious that a small minority of the population thinks they can take ownership of our nation, developed by many generations of setters, enduring hardship but working hard, with dedication. The sovereignty activists should get used to the fact the best they can expect is EQUALITY with every other citizen and get used to it. They deserve nothing more especially after the multi billions already in their pockets – gained from dishonest claims – claims which have been proved to be totally dishonest.  CM
Again its a money spinner for maori.. Goal is to have government employment only available to those who speak maori.. Guess who is going to get the jobs. NCA credits if you take maori you have enough credits half way through the year. While students taking more difficult subjects, but more employable have to go right through to the end of the year. No surprises there.  Dene
It seems not to have worked anywhere else so why should it here? Brian
Let maori pay for their own language. I’m fed up with paying for their culture. Chris
Terry got it right with his description of Te Reo as being Minglish. I read long ago that original Maori comprised fewer than 1000 words across the entire cocabulary compared to english language with around 170,000 words. No contest. Brian
It is a useless language outside N.Z. and a waste of time being made to learn it. Don’t mind our children learning a few Maori songs but that is all.  Donald
If some persons want to learn te reo they can learn it in their own time. Forcing it on children at school is a complete waste of time Ian
It is a dead language – let it be only learnt by those who want to learn it, don’t force it on me! Brian
Why would you further burden an already overladen education system for a pointless political gesture. Are we entering a Chinese style cultural or what? style culteral Kemn
never. just a complete waste of time and money. Graeme
They would be better off teaching Chinese or Spanish, enough money has been thrown at this already .As for Maori ruling NZ , no way the country was settled not invaded time to put the Treaty away too its being raped and pillaged for the benefit of the elite, if it weren’t for the country being settled by the Europeans it would have been invaded . No more exclusive rights to water, coast ect its for all to enjoy. Politicians should have to work their way into parliament it should not be a right to be there just because of your heritage . Shaun
Language studies should always be a choice. Fluency in a second language can be an asset when seeking employment so Chinese, Indian, French or Spanish would be far more useful to employers than ‘the reo’ …. especially when only 10% of Maori even speak the language. Just goes to show how hopelessly stupid our education ‘experts’ have become. They really are on another planet. Steve
FO! Reuben
It should be an option (like French) where available – no more and no less  Russell
Schools are set up for the education of children, namely the three r’s. Te reo is not an education subject. Allan
I am a sixth generation New Zealander of Danish, English, Irish and German ancestry…and bloody proud of that fact. I have Aunties and Uncles who share those blood-lines as well as Maori heritage. Due to my happy back country upbringing and schooling, I have a basic understanding of Te Reo Maori (no pressure to learn, it just happened). A fair percentage of our younger family members, (including those of Maori descent) live and work in countries spread all over the planet such as Australia, Ireland, the UK, HongKong, the United States of America, Thailand, Norway, Canada and France, Fiji, Tonga and many others. They all learn basic simple street talk in those counties as a day to day comfort in basic communication with the locals. Relax…., it’s a changing world, as it always has been ! James
Many people today, including newsreaders and TV presenters, don’t even speak the English language properly – let the basic ‘reading writing and arithmetic be taught first.  Marie
Definitely NOT. Children should be taught Te Reo by their parents. The money would be better spent teaching slow learns and backward children reading writing and arithmetic.  Carroll
What are the benifits to those who speak Maori .The language has no value intodays world and to force it on students should be removed . Maori elite are gaining to much influance with all these weak politicins.who dont have the balls to stop the erosion of democracy .Lets just see how this new bunch of loses handle Maori demands in the coming months. Ken
Definitely not! Anyone wanting to learn to speak the Maori language should have the opportunity but it should be an elective just as is French or other languages offered in our schools. The evidence from overseas that pouring money into promoting indigenous languages is ultimately a waste should be a clear warning to NZ particularly when so few of our Maori population have bothered to take up the opportunity. Greg
In this modern world it has no use what ever. John
Definitely not, them that want to learn it learn it privately otherwise forget it, it is a dying language and no use to anyone. Clark
Available Yes Compulsory NO Laurie
Get Real.What an absolute farce!!! It’s a stone-age manufactured language that has no place in this modern world. Teach our young students a second language that has meaning globally. Tony
Children should be taught in schools what will stand them in good stead in the real world. Anything that fits that definition could be mandatory. Anything that falls outside that, needs to be optional. Laurie
No no no Anything but that language how about Chinese French German but most of all English. Mike
Certainly NOT! I have lived and worked in 8 countries around the World. Te Reo Maori would certainly not have been useful to me in any of them. Secondly I have lived in 2 countries with 2 official languages and both had significant political problems. NZ seems headed in the same direction. Jim
A second language helps in adding other languages as needed. Audrey 
Those that want to learn it should be able to do so if the school has enough funds for such a minor subject. Bill
What about personal sovereignty of choice. Christine
I wish NZ Sign Language ( which is one of the official NZ languages) was taught in schools. It would be far more useful than teo reo for me as I only have 15% hearing left,would be good to have others to talk to, but I don’t expect everyone else learn it. Meg
More important to teach the correct use of English  Peter
It is forcing a language on children which is of no use to them in the world today only in New Zealand.  Pat
My child would not be attending compulsory Maori, or any other language (other than English) if they had no desire to do so. End of story ! John
Absolutely not. My grandchildren cannot work out simple maths problems and without a calculator or phone, they are lost. Their spoken language is stunted until their phones are ‘grounded’. DICK
Madness!! Malc
I find the sound of Maori language ‘horrible and contrived’ and turn the channel over whenever some TV enabler/ presenter speaks this way. I feel the whole so-called Maori culture such as haka, tribalism etc. to be aggressive, backward and not condusive to NZ’s place internationally in the 21st century. Monica
This Te reo should never be made compulsory in New Zealand school Tell these Maori sods that if they want to learn and teach it to their children fine but don’t ram it down the throats of those and their children who have no earthly use for a stone age language. Colin
If it is an option that’s acceptable – compulsory NO!! John
It would be a waste of school time.. Where would it be used? Not overseas as the people of other countries wouldn’t understand you. If they are going to learn another language then it should be a useful language when visiting a particular country. And it should be by choice, not compulsory. John
Many other languages are more important for the future of our youth in the world at large Dennis
If a person wants to learn the Maori language then go to school. If the school has sufficient pupils to form a class then it could be taught. But only then, there must be no compulsion.  Eric
The distraction of a dying and useless language inserted roughly into curriculum and education scripts could cost our future generations in real terms. We should direct our efforts into equipping them for the real future not the political agenda of a vocal few. Let this thing run it’s course if it goes, then so be it. Stewart
Absolutely not Tipene
This is largely a manufactured language. It is re-constructed from a spoken dialect.  josephine
Where are all these qualified (unqualified) teachers? How ironical, the activists want non-maori to help them keep THEIR language alive – a joke. Fiona
Many New Zealander’s can’t speak English correctly. Learn from Ireland and Wales in their attempts to save their indigenous language. Mike
Absolutely NOT, weak governments continually appeasing radicals at the expense of 90% of the population will eventually attach a negative reaction. Sam
More Maori problems pushed onto us, let us unite and become all New Zealanders, then we shall go forward as one people and not as a divided country. With huge pay outs to a small proportion of the people of New Zealand. The funds are needed for Hospitals and Roading so we can all share in the hard earned Taxes. Ross
Not on your life, but with half the Labour Party being Maori, watch out NZ the Maoris are taking over our country.. Athol
Maori is a stone age lanuage that is of ne use to anyone. The gross amounts of money that are spent on trying to keep it alive are a total waste. Muriel’s excellent article hit the nail on the head with the comment from the UK and the attempts to keep gaelic alive…….people must have the DESIRE to use it otherwise just let it die. Clearly the vast majority of Kiwi have no desire to use it. People, this is just anonther example of politicians lacking the guts to say NO. we must make binding referendum the law of the country to help the politicians make these touchy decisions. Ronmac
Forcing students to learn the Maori language is unacceptable. This should only be allowed on a voluntary basis. And besides—-. It is up to Maori people to keep their language alive , not to us .and they should pay for this themselfes if they are so keen to preserve their language.. The fact that 569 million of our tax dollars have been squandered to no effect shows that this is nothing but a massive Ponzi scheme to extract even more money from us. Nothing short of embezzlement!! Government has become complicit in this dodgy scheme and has to be held accountable.  Michael
Definitely No. Ian
No F***g way. Why should we be subject to speaking a language that stuff all people care about and don’t want to speak from 15% of the population. Shall we all speak Asian, there are more of them live in this country than stupid Maori anyway. Graham
It doesn’t work Geoff
I am a 3rd generation white. Mandarin would be a better choice. Frank
Absolutely. Europeans came to a land with an existing people, and we signed a covenant with them that promised to protect and honour them – this includes their heritage, their culture and their language. The least we can do is to learn even the basics of their language. This should be required of every NZ citizen, because the treaty is not just a historical document but it is something that must continue to be honoured both today and in all of our future.  Belinda
Stupidest idea of them all! Will only drag down those that are already struggling to manage the present curriculum, for a language that will only be of any use in NZ. I am sure the UN is not adopting Maori as their first language any time soon! John
Only a small percentage of Maori and those that choose to be Maori can speak it. The use of the language is useless outside New Zealand. The language is written so anyone who wishes to learn it can do so. We do not need to encumber our children to have to learn a “dead” language  Bill
With recent treaty settlements Maori are now well funded to support their own language? Schools are failing to teach English, adding another language won’t help. Kenneth
Fluency in Te Reo is not going to help poverty — prison numbers – child abuse – child poverty – even the 1920’s and prior days a Gisborne Maori – could not undersatnd the dialect of a wairarapa Maori – or South island Maori — – so what ‘dialect’ would they use anyway —  John
After over 50 years and billions of dollars, still only between 3 and 4 percent of the population speaks te reo fluently. This is a unanimous vote from the population. The majority of people don’t want to learn te reo for one reason or another. The opportunity has been more than provided for to learn te reo; and still only 3 to 4 percent of the population has chosen to speak it fluently. Out of te reo and English, the case for te reo is also the UN. We are in the global community like it or not; English is spoken at the UN – te reo is not. Stop the cognitive dissonance the population suffers from between part of a global community under UN, IMF, WB, WHO, and so on. BUT NZ legislation and history is contrived in complete isolation from this global community. Michelle
Maybe an option for primary kids or intermediate to learn but certainly not compulsory for students at secondary level who shortly will need to develop skills that can be used in employment Barry
Definitely not, this whole thing has gone way too far, its out of control.  Peter
It should be compulsory for ALL Maori to be fluent in te reo and those who are not should be excluded from any privileges granted to Maori by spineless politicians. Maori elders can’t keep Maori out of prison so they should be compelled to fix that problem before being given any further taxpayer funded handouts.  JR
No where else in the world can it be used.And what research or other world wide study can be made using it.awhat use would be to an international pilot. Bryan
No No No if any thing could be an option in the 3rd form but in reality outside NZ it`s completely useless. Maori have done nothing to help them selves with all these settlement’s and paying no tax. Graham, Finlayson and now the labour guy have done maori an injustice. They should have told the Iwis to get their members up to date, form a company and give each equal shares, voting and selling rights with their shares. . No, they got ride of the Chiefs, they get Queens Honors yet don’t accept her sovereignty. Politician’s are becoming masters to Maoridom  Robert
It’s peoples CHOICE if they want to learn it or not & should NOT BE FORCED on children Cindy
Another racial proposal Gareth
We have a growing population of Asians who have children who will not be literate in their own languages in 15 years time, although they may be able to converse in everyday Chinese/Korean/Tagalog/Urdu/Hindi etc with their grandparents. I wonder how many children of Maori descent actually speak with their grandparents and parents in Te Reo now? Are we to teach all these other languages too? embrace Ken
Definetly not! Another attempt to enforce others wishes on the general population. Steve
Te Reo is rightfully an official language but like other languages (except English) should never become a compulsory subject in NZ Schools. Jim
Te Reo maybe a language for within NZ but learned a language which will aid many when they are in positions overseas this will also benefit NZ and the English language. Elizabeth
Absolutely not. I would totally oppose my children wasting their time learning it. Today its a made-up language anyway. Maybe they could have a choice of several useful languages but they would be much better learning something that could be of use to them in the future.  Helen
English is the primary language of NZ and the world. All others should be taught as options, where resources are available. Lionel
So while our children are forced to learn a reinvented language that will have no relevance to their future, what will be replaced to allow for the extra time required? Where are all these teachers going to come from? I am so sick of this pandering to a minority group of people who signed a treaty but constantly (with our money) keep changing the meanings of words. No, they can carry on learning a revised language and history but don’t try forcing it on the majority! Gordy
Maori is a totally useless language outside a small minority of people living in a small island group at the bottom of the world. In addition to the uselessness of the language outside New Zealand it has been bastardised beyond belief in an attempt to create something that never was, a Maori language that suits everybody and is understood by all. There is not, and never was, a single Maori language. Each tribal area had its own dialect, in much the same way as English did in Britain in earlier centuries and still does to some extent. The Maori language my grandfathers spoke in predominantly Nga Puhi Northland would have been unintelligible to a Ngai Tahu from the lower South Island. Even the Maori days of the week being taught in schools now are different to those I learned myself in the 1970s. I questioned my children’s headmaster about this and he admitted that it was not what he was taught either but said that that is what they must teach now. One law for all. End apartheid in New Zealand now. Kerry
Absolutely not Craig
No, no, no Andrew
Certainly not Neil
Absolutely not. Te Reo is there for anyone incllned to learn or use it. I seem to remember it was compulsory when I was at intermediate school in Whakatane – I had no choice but to attend Maori lessons. That doesn’t mean I was interested, so it didn’t stick. Those classes became unofficial extra sports opportunities after the teachers realised they were wasting their time & ours Dave
Provision as an option is OK, compulsory is not OK David
Better to learn Mandarin  Susan
In 60 years I have never had difficulty with not being able to speak Maori. It is their language and they should be the people to keep it alive and not force others to learn it so it is kept alive. Gayle
Its a dead language with no future. Let those who wish to speak it do so but no compulsion should be introduced. Bryan
If ones culture is worth a single damn it will survive no matter what, when one looks at the Maori culture before the pakeha showed up, then I seriously doubt that culture would have survived for much longer Sam
No – take it off “life support” and let it die a natural death. If those who supposedly want to foster it can no longer be bothered using it, then we should cease wasting money on continuing to promote it. Make English the sole official language of NZ by Act of Parliament and have done with all this silly nonsense! Scott 
As I have said many times. te reo should be a subject like learning German, France etc. It should never be compulsory at all. learn some thing that will help you get a job. Robert
Kudos to Dr. Paul Moon. Catherine
Again no more ‘Maori Radicalism” Laurel
compulsion will never work. IF some want to learn a useless language then let them Russ
It is of no use outside of NZ. If Maori choose to speak it, let them. I don’t wish to have it thrust down my throat through news broadcasts on radio or tv. If I hear it I ‘switch off’ both literally and figuratively. If te reo is taught in schools, so should mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Spanish., but not at the expense of English, maths and science or ‘reading, writing and arithmetic’ which are critical for the future. Besides, if Maori can’t speak te reo now, how are they going to find enough teachers to teach it? Sandy
Time would be better spent for students learning how to cook an feed themselvs, not fast food ! if someone wishes to learn Te Reo Maori, let them learn it in their own time. Take a alsson from the Hawaiians. Jill
Latin was compulsory when I was at high school. That’s a dead language too. Mark
hopefully we will see a big backlash. progressive enfeeblement syndrome JH
No compulsion should be sanctioned. It should be voluntary. Radio NZ has gone overboard in it’s use. Tony
I don’t 6think so. The only reason to do so is to preserve the language. That’s OK but it should be up to the individual – not the state. Simon
I am not a Maori Richard
I do not understand, speak or listen to the Maori language. Now that the National Radio inserts Maori into most programmes, especially the news broadcasts I treat it the same way as I do advertising on TV. I mute it as I have no wish to listen to either. As a retired school teacher I am strongly against the idea of compulsory Maori language learning in schools. It serves no useful purpose, it takes up valuable class time and over the years the increase in ‘useful’ subjects has gradually reduced the amount of time available for the basics, reading, writing and (a)rithmetic. We called them the 3 ‘R’s Hence the standard of English and maths in particular has steadily declined. There are ample opportunities for students to opt to learn Maori at secondary level, where they will probably do well because they want the language. Making it compulsory will turn most youngsters off. Other languages are optional as are all subjects apart from English and Maths. Chris
Since NZ is a democratic country, well%u2026. it was the last time I checked. We should not be under the control of a minority section of the population whom are intent on %u201Cforcing%u201D their own culture on others. The education system is under huge pressure as it is. Why are some people who claim this system is failing them insisting on placing it under even more pressure? I grew up under this system and I applied myself and am having a successful life. I do not blame others for my failures in life. Stop using the blame game and take responsibility for your own actions. A. H.
If other cultures can keep their language alive without being compulsory in schools why cant Maori Mike
Best for it to remain optional Ian
Absolutely not The Maori language has no place in modern commerce throughout the world. Learning the Maori language should be taken on by people who want to keep it going, and it should not be forced on our school system. It is important that our education system promotes languages that is helpful for young people to get ahead in the cosmopolitan world. An extinct language such as Maori does not fill the need.  Lloyd
What is the use of forcing it on children that will never use it as, commerce is in English. If they want to learn it sure let them but don’t force it on anyone. where else in the world is it used, what countries? Unlike French, Spanish, German..  Barry
absolutely no, english is the most important language of all graeme
Just a waist of time.Nobody else in the world would want to know you charlie
What use is it to the rest of the country? No good overseas or at the local shops. Let it die and the sooner the better. Benjamin
With the entry into NZ of European civilisation came words describing everyday things. Glass, ceramics, timber construction, roofs, doors, windows etc etc. It is laughable how these myriad words are being ‘maorified’ to what is increasingly a dead and out of touch language. if people want to keep using it, let them, but they need to realise it has no relevance in any country today. We might just as well insist on an obscure dialect of some equally obscure African country be taught at huge expense in our schools. It is interesting to note the surnames of those people insisting it is preserved. More than a little hypocrisy in the mix? charles
LIke music, if one wants to learn it go to a school that offers it as a subject. Don’t try and force it on those who don’t want to learn it They will only resent it , and it will be a huge waste of money. But then Labour has absolutely no respect for money, so lets see where the coffers are after their first term Alan
o more important (less actually) than learning Manderin Peter 
Too many current students have trouble learning the English language. Their writing and comprehension ability is deplorable and restricts their potential employment when entering the workforce. Adding Maori to their studies would achieve very little. It is a local language with no international use or recognition. It is not a language of commerce or of any international use. Far better to improve the English language abilities of students and allow them to choose a second language of their choice if they wish to study it.  Gary
I believe the only languages to be taught in our schools are the language of countries we trade with eg German, French, Japanese, Mandarin. Te Reo is the language of a very small group of people in New Zealand and is of no use whatsoever in the world of business transactions. Diana
Maori parents should teach their children at home to speak Maori Annette
Stupidity of the highest order to make Te Reo compulsory in NZ Schools. and an utter waste of money.There are far more important issues needing financial support than the maori language.  William
Learning any language by force breeds resentment, so Maoris should not be surprised at this backlash from pakehas; it’s just what they did. Richard
It’s a dying language but those who wish to speak it can learn it if they wish of course but it cannot be compulsory. (About 400 languages have become extinct and this one may follow suit unless those who wish to learn it do so) I believe the numbers learning are reducing and not increasing. Alan
It is a waste of time, better if Spanish or Mandarin is taught Barry
I am a relieving teacher and sometimes work with children in full emersion Te Reo classes who can hardly read or write English Paul
I believe that the original Maori language consisted of less than 1,000 words. Te Reo is something altogether different, consisting of English words with some consonants being replaced by sounds that existed in the original Maori tongue. The obvious path to understanding Te Reo is to first gain proficiency in English so that the word structures can be broken down to reveal their origins. So learn English first – then you will be able to grasp Te Reo. Naturally, this would also apply to “total immersion” Maori schools that currently deny youngsters the opportunity to communicate effectively with half of the world’s population. Mitch
Te Reo should be available for those who wish to use it and are prepared to support it. It should not be compulsory to those who wish not to use it. Donald
In addition to all the reasons that Paul Moon gives, there is the major problem that te reo is now more like pidgin English. It is a nonsense to enter a library and find there are supposedly Maori words bastardised from English for terms that didn’t exist in the Maori world view. To view a cooking program and hear – carroty; oniony; several other products made te reo with an “y ” added. Then there is the problem that is the equivalent of ” Received English”. What is insisted on as proper is actually just the Nga Puhi dialect. e.g. Taupo pronunciation can differ by tribe  Peter
It is what I call a ‘dead language’ David
There are better & more useful languages to learn & any language subject should be optional Colleen
It is time we became one people and not torn apart by radical racial issues Robert
A language that can be used in other parts of the world would be far better if the person chose to learn it. Steven
Te Reo will be best learnt by people who are keen to learn it, not have it forced upon them, and the way it is spoken varies from person to person, area to area, which can be very confusing Margaret
The compulsion to do anything will always cause resentment, therefore making children learn maori is not going to assist in maintaining it in todays society. Dennis
I believe that te reo should not only be an official language in this country but that it should be promoted. If not it will die, however it should NEVER be made compulsory as that will only alienate the vast majority of the New Zealanders.. If you want to learn te reo you will.  Robin
Learn it by all means but don’t ram it down every ok new throat!!!! Tim
Definitely not.  Peter
With an alphabet of only 10 consonants and 5 vowels, how can even maori consider their language capable of commercial use in today’s world. example: rugby stadium =karapu whutupaoro = football club depending on whether you are translating english to maori or vice versa? x-ray translates to the maori for top edge !!!!!. no useful con sistency, hence maori speakers will inevitable mix foreign words with maori so it becomes a bastardised language which is best forgotten. Alan
I am yet to see any medical text books written in Te Reo (did they have a written language?) yet the pass rate for Maori at med school is high. Wonderful students Bruce
Of course it shouldn’t be forced on everyone. What use is it to any one who is not interested. We have enough Maori inflicted on us at school prize givings etc Laurie
“Never before in the field of Treaty manipulation has so much false history been swallowed by so many from so few.” Don
Forcing a non-essential subject on Students does not encourage them to want to learn. This idea could be the final nail in the coffin for Te Reo. MervB
Te Reo is not a priority for the short time children have at school. Mathew
I first learned Maori words when I was about two years old because I was born in Rotorua (to Pakeha parents) and my father’s work involved a lot of Maori discussion and Court work (including Land Court) work with the Maori, and he encouraged me to learn to speak Maori. Later we lived in the Pacific Islands and there was sufficient similarity between Rarotongan Maori and NZ Maori for me to be able to speak with other small children. Well, We understood each other, I think! I guess the language of sandcastles and buckets and spades is pretty well universal, isn’t it? Good fun, but not a lot of future in it? Skip forward about 70 years and now my grandchildren are learning both Maori and Mandarin in their local school. I just hope they can string a grammatical sentence together in English by the time they enter their Intermediate school years??? Long term, there’s no conclusion to be made other than that by that time they reach Tertiary level the requirements for employment internationally (where else is there to go???) may well be enhanced by the ability to converse, calculate, and/or litigate right across the world and Mandarin/English may well be their most important personal asset. I just cannot see, understand, comprehend or even get my head around the point in learning, Te Reo for future use, Latin, Gaelic, Welsh etc have all died almost natural deaths, , used mainly by scholars. Scots nationalists and dwellers in Welsh villages. I believe we should let Te Reo go the same way. Now. It displaces other essentials like scxience subject,s, maths, and geography and most of all,history, from curricular reviews and is assuring children of going happily backwards downhill on a skateboard. We caqn do better for our children than that Te Reo must not be imposed on schoolchildren here, though it could and maybe should be an optional extra….that will soon sort out the relevance in outcomes at the end of schooling (pity the guinea pigs on the way!?) when the students exit year 12/13 fully qualifirted to cope first in English. Mabel
Te Reo Maori is not a major language. It is one that has been resuscitated from the 19th century. by activists who have Maori ancestry of dwindling proportions. Full blood Maori of early 20th century saw that it was peculiar to them, but not the world in general. They could see that for them to trade and progress, English would be the language of choice. It is a language of the times (like Gaelic) and has importance as an historical link and in place names of New Zealand. They ought to be correctly pronounced too. What significance does it have for present day New Zealanders? Many people now living here, English is their second language – Chinese, Hindi,, German, French etc Even they have to know and use English when here in NZ. Then the majority of us have never spoken anything but English! Forcing children to learn something of questionable use, will mean that they reject it as soon as they are able. Oh, don’t tell me that the “elite” activists of some Maori ancestry have designs on a takeover of NZ! Rod
It would be a huge waste of taxpayer’s money andn it would be even more expensive to train the teachers. If Maori are keen for it to survive they should teach it to their kids at home. Victor
Most definitely not Alistair
Emphatically NO!!! It has no legitimacy as a workable language, having no written component historically, and having to employ an alphabet from a foreign culture, (us). With all the English terms incorporated in it to allow it to work, it is now no more than a corrupted, ‘pidgin’ version of an ancient form of speech once used in these islands, and its sole use today is to allow the Maoris to stake a spurious claim to “cultural ascendancy”. Let it die, it has no relevance to anyone today. TOBY
Wasting time & money learning a language that has no relevance in a modern world, is like learning to be cave-men when we have modern homes & amenities. I have travelled to all of the Continents in the world. Speaking English has been understood by someone every where. Had I been speaking maori, nobody would have understood me anywhere.. Wasting time & money learning a dinosaur language is no more than an excuse for not spending that same time on learning VITAL SUBJECTS like REAL SCIENCE, MATHMATICS, READING & WRITING ENGLISH. All subjects that are vital to be successful in the 21st century..  A.G.R.
This is force fed indoctrination to keep the spot light on Maori demands. The last thing they want to do is settle because that will destroy the cash flow. They want to up the anti without settling to keep the heat on. Paul
If we need a second language here in NZ it should be Mandarin.  Clive
No one should be forced to learn another language if maori want to keep their language they should do it not the English speaking people who unfortunately have through the years have taught the Maori all that they know today. Gleniss
As an ‘option’ it is fine, alongside international languages. But Maori is a cultural language and for those not of this culture it is an imposition to make it compulsory. And if it becomes part of the curriculum then it can only be at the cost of something else. Voluntary free lessons outside the normal hours would provide the opportunity tp learn the language. But, forcing it on a reluctant population is an ideal way of alienating the majority of population towards the concept. It is a wasteful cost applied purely to meet misguided political PC ideals.  Richard
To retain an historic tradition Stewart
Absolutly NOT!!! What use is an internal language once you get out in the world? Robin
I’m one of the people who had to learn Gaelic at school. Much use I’ve made of it in the last 70 years of my life in another country. So would it be with Maori.  Ann
Racism in a thin disguise Bruce
Many schools already have te reo at secondary and primary levels. Labour should not have it forced down everyones throat! Alison
Ironically the modus operandi of radicals like Marama Fox are exactly the same as those so successfully pursued by the Afrikaaners who established Apartheid in South Africa. And we already HAVE Apartheid in NZ.  Geoff
Omg. When are these greedy Maori going to stop. Can’t they see they are destroying their future generations by teaching them that if you whine and complain long enough you will get what you want without having to work for it. Just watch how this government is going to cave into the greedy Maori.  Peter
Any form of the Maori language is of no use outside of New Zealand, and not much use here. Do schools have enough spare teaching time to include this in their curriculum? If there aren’t enough to WOTAMs in the education system already.  Geoff.
That would be a major turnoff for many people and would increase resentment I would have thought. Barbara
Definitely not! Alex
Definitely not Diana
Useless to 85% or more of nzers Barry
It is simply of no use once you leave school, no use at all so why waste time learning it, Latin would better Warren
Too much money & effort for very little Reward Forget it Ian
We have immigrants arriving here struggling to learn english, why confuse them more with all the integrated use of maori already happening with our english without confusing them further having to learn maori Peter
It is a dead language, like many others Moyra
No way Alan
Definitely no.  John
The thought of forcing te reo down our kids throats is disgusting. Even TV announcers are making news readings an unpleasant experience. If I had children in school, i would remove them from classes that had anything to do with maori. God only know where this country is headed. Now that we have a very sick minded government that is removing the 3 strikes ruling for serious criminals, throwing money at people who keep having kids and dont care how they bring them up so long as someone else pays for it … and simply leaving the elderly to (the real people living in poverty) to fend for themselves with no increased assistance of any sort. Why not focus on teaching maoris to speak English … yous know what i mean eh bwo!! Des
Absolutely NOT !! Deb
Just another bloody stupid idea to promote Maori.What possible use would this be to our young people in their careers.Our so called Maori race has a dispicable record of societal achievement or compliance so their language can only be associated with failure not success Don
For languages to survive the people have to want to speak it William
I do not want my Grand Children to be brainwashed by the maori elite brigade’s plan for political influence. No to propping up a dying and useless language. “Maori language” and “world view” will never belong in the same sentence or context.  Neil
Say NO to this insidious creeping version of apartheid! Peter
Absolutely not. Richard
Definitely NO,and the taxpayer should not fund it.If those who are predominantly white,but call themselves Moaris want it they should pay for it. Peter
none John
When Maori are 50% of the population or more, then maybe, but they are only 13% of the population. Ive met maori children who have only been taught to read maori, THAT should be illegal, George
Optional yes, compulsory no. Ron
No,, it is not recognized as an international or scientifically capable language.  Monty
It is virtually dead – only kept alive by thise who seek Maori domination. Red
Paul Moon has explained why not well. If the language is declining in the group that would use it most then why should the rest of the people be forced to pick it up. Kevin
I used to live in Gisborne. I remember vividly being on the receiving end of a lecture from a respected elder, that the way to hinder the growth of the Maori language was to make it compulsory. In her view compulsion breeds resentment. Volunteers are better learners. Murray
The Maori language is not recognised outside NZ. Furthermore I am not aware that it can be written without falling back on the English alphabet. We should be proud of our English heritage including the English language, law and customs. Tony
The unequivocal evidence supporting the decline in use of the language is irrefutable – the “3 R’s” is a far more important destination for taxpayers money when it comes to education of young New Zealanders. Bob
Most of the so called Maori language is now ‘minglish’. In other words, its english language which a committee in Wellington is maoriising. Maori language is basically useless as a world language. Terry
By all means offer it as an optional subject to those who wish to use it but do not force it upon anyone. It’s only use would be in NZ and certainly have no use outside of our country. I am not sure how my view of the world would change if I was “blessed” with the ability to converse in Te Reo. Let those who wish to do so learn the language but don’t force it on anyone else, certainly not using any contribution my taxes may make. Co-governance and Maori Sovereignty are becoming the most divisive force existing in our nation. Why would any citizen wish to contribute to the strengthening of such a movement! Michael
Compulsory Maori language is not even feasible, let alone desirable. Anon
It should be left to wither and die. Those who wish to use it let them do so however any attempt to make it a compulsory subject at school should be defeated. There are far more important subjects that need to be instilled in the minds of the youth of today.  Allan
Certainly not! How long before the Geographic board without consultation changes the name of New Zealand? John
It would create resentment and do no worthwhile good. It should be available to those who wish to learn the language without pressure Harvey
Too lazy to do themselves Frank
Let it be available, but not compulsory PAMELA
Not needed. Other cultures will demand the same and our children need to concentrate on more important subjects. Charlotte
Teaching a dead language is wasting time that could be better spent. This was known by past generations who insisted English be spoken in Maori homes.  Anon
Of course not, it has no value in the commercial and international worlds and is not spoken by most Maori, let alone Pakeha, although some of the latter are learning it because it is ‘politically correct’. We’ll probably end up with more Pakeha than Maori speaking it, I hope it helps them in their overseas travel and day-to-day lives. Terry
Absolutely NOT! The continuing claims by maoris and weak politicians giving in to their outrageous demands demonstrates an intolerable threat to the people of this country and way of life. It is clear the maoris want to dominate NZ with overall rule. They have contributed nothing to the creation of NZ as a recognised nation, such as industry, agriculture, law, busines, railways, hospitals, medicine, shipping airlines,etc etc, in fact the whole fabric of NZ society. What benefit is there to enforce their language on chilren where it is of absolutely no use anywhere in the world, except NZ. If children wish to learn a second language it is for them to choose which language, NOT poiticians or maoris !! There is no way that parents should permit their chilren to be forced to learn a second language if they have no wish to. The time is long overdue that the politicians refuse in the bluntest of terms that the minority maori population are not going to dictate to the majority population of NZ how we are to live. David
Te Reo has about as much use in NZ daily living & commerce as Latin !!! Maurice
If schools what to teach then let them but it should not be compulsory, Childern would be better off learning Mandarin Geoff
Language is simply a way for humans to communicate. Communication, or lack of it, makes or breaks a relationship. English has become the common language which we all understand and unites us. As Jesus said: “A Kingdom, city or home that is divided will fall”. Chris
Of little use within and beyond New Zealand . Peter
Definitely NOT! Bryan
In terms of classroom time, compulsory te reo would exclude or diminish other more useful Life’s skills learning Linton
Te reo is a waste of money and time being taught at schools because when students want to gain employment every business works only with English language. Ernest
It should be left to those people who wish to learn to speak the maori language , to seek out the many avenues now available to them learn. Darryl
At the worst the learning of a choice of second language would realistically be acceptable as compulsory.  Dick
If Maori want to resurrect their own language then perhaps they should run courses throughout the country for their own people who wish to learn it rather than forcing the rest of us to learn a dead language. Our children would be better off learning a second language at school that would benefit them in the future and enable them to travel and acquire jobs overseas. Clive
Definitely not. It should however be available to those students who wish to study it. The answer is, make it a voluntary subject and see how many students opt to take it.  Keith
It is a cult language of no use whatsoever outside of NZ and does not cover domestic or commercial interaction. Ian
Concentration on te reo only leads to the degradation of English as a spoken (and written) language that is used throughout the world. Graham
Maori as a compulsory in schools is the best way to kill it but the inevitable antagonism is would create would tear the country apart. Jenny
Never Lyndon
ONLY English please….. Carl
Absolutely no. Children attend school to be taught skills which will enable them to live and contribute to both New Zealand and the ROW. I can think of at least 10 languages, if taught to students that would benefit our young people before Te Reo. For goodness sake New Zealand, wake up before it is too late. No wonder our educational achievements are slipping down the international scale when those in charge of setting the education strategy and agenda plan to waste student time on learning a dying language. Chris
It is a waste of time to teach it in schools – there are much more important subjects, such as more life skills education. Any way it appears to me that a considerable proportion of words are derived from english words, so it can hardly claim to be a truly indigenous language. Paul
Te Reo has no more right than French to such exclusive treatment Russell
NO! It can be taught but unless a language is is regular conversation it fades. Jeff
No it should not, but with the new bleeding heart government they will give into any claims from Maori. Steve
NO, NO, NO!!! The word COMPULSORY should be struck from the lexicon. It is the tool of every would-be tyrant ! Don
Absolutely not. I was forced to learn Afrikaans in SA as a child of the 50s. It was part of the “us and them” between Boers and Rooineks. Compulsion created resentment and today I regret that through lack of choice I deliberately minimised the opportunity to learn another language. The demands of Maori academia share much in common with the Afrikaaners of the apartheid era.  David
A waste of money and other resources. Our relatives in Ireland would say the same thing aabout making the Irish language compulsory in Irish schools.  Kevin
I remember writing to the then Labour government during the Tomorrow’s Schools period in the mid to late 1980’s about the same question and was informed that Maori language would not become compulsory in schools John
There never was a universal maori language – e.g. maori people in the far north had difficulty understanding maori living around Whangarei. Peter
A huge cost, teachers have enough to do already and it won’t work. Andrew
Prof. Moons comment spells it out clearly. More kiwis need to understand this and pass on the message Gary
Definitely not that fossil language needs tto die a painful death to put these activists in their place once and for all Jeff
The forces behind this represent Maori sovereignty and should be resisted and exposed for what they are. Don
Why not all the other ethnic groups – where could one use that language in the world  Beth
If Maori want to speak te reo that’s fine – but I am NOT Maori. This is a further attempt to wind back the clock to the primitive 1840s. I have successfully looked forward – not backwards!  Stuart 
An emphatic “no”! When something is added to the core curriculum it reduces time and resources available for other core subjects. If we’re not doing too well in English and Maths now, what would happen to them? We have seen how much money has been thrown at propping up the Maori language by successive governments, but the number of fluent Maori speakers continues to decline. For the Maori language to survive it must be taught by parents to their children, not by foisting it upon all our children. Fair enough for it to be offered as an option, but it should not be compulsory. Laurence
The English language has evolved over many centuries and derives from Germanic and Scandinavian roots with substantial borrowings from Latin and Greek. Words of French, Dutch, and German origins are common. Some people study various of these languages and probably gain some insight into the derivation of modern English language. However, it is not at all necessary to study any of these source languages in order to understand English or to become fluent in it. In my view, the Maori language is no different. There are some words of Maori origin that are peculiar to the English that is spoken in New Zealand and these no doubt enrich our language. But should the study of Maori be compulsory? No, such a requirement will serve no beneficial purpose in preserving the language, Peter
The ridiculous calls for the compulsory teaching of Maori language in in our schools must be questioned. English has been the accepted international language for decades. Everyinternational airline pilot for instance can only use spoken English for all air traffic communications. Yet in NZ we see remedial classes in English necessary for new entrants to University – and in the media, poor quality spoken and written English being used. The frequent incidence of poor grammar, poorpunctuation, and mixed metaphors are common examples. This stands out markedly in comparison with the amazing command of English exhibited by normally educated black children in most African countries. By all means have some voluntary classes in basic Maori – but to make it compulsory, when the outcomes of our education in English are presently so inadequate, makes it a mockery to pursue of the ‘politically correct’ concept of the compulsory teaching of Maori Hylton
Our governments are complicit in creating a racist, apartheid system where one race has a superior privilege over all others even though most Maoris are not pure “Maori” Charlie
This is a dying language of no real value to Maori or any other New Zealander.  Diane
Many people around the world speaking other major languages other than English are paying to learn ENGLISH. WHY. Because it is fast becoming THE major world language. Learning Te Reo would be a wasted effort, and only serving Maori political agendas. Graeme
If it truly means so much to them, let them speak and promote it at home and among their families…….sorry, whanau and friends. Kevin
A truly dreadful idea! If it does happen it may be the very thing needed to begin a fight back against all of the racial division that this country increasingly suffers from. Time right now to stand up and fight back! Roger
It should be compulsory for a second language to be taught in NZ Schools But it should be a language of choice Peter
Optional only. pdm
Te Reo is only a reinvented language invented from a combination of tribal dialects. this should not be compulsory and serves no purpose as it of no praticale use. Don
Well, maybe if we add Dutch, French, Chinese, Japanese, Samoan, Fijian, Tongan,Phillipine, Spanish, Portuguese,etc as compulsory too! Otherwise a resounding NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Cyril
Any one can learn Te Reo if they wish , but it should not be compulsory. As there are no true Maori’s left now how many are we going to have in 36years from now. The whole thing is a nonsense !! and should be stamped on immediately Tom
Words like motoka, for automobile, nupepa for newspaper, tiwi for television, rorohiko for computer etc. etc. are childish fabrications and make a laughing stock of te reo. Mandarin perhaps, te reo never. John
…the maori language is a lot of garbage and DEAD…bury it in the dustbin of history along with the t of w. As for RNZ just turn the lousy station off..!! CHowes
It is all the other PC instruction that will accompany te reo teaching by so called educationalists that would be so damaging. If te reo is so precious to a family, then preserve & encourage it in your own home … just like immigrants do who think their former language is worth passing on to their next generation. I am bloody sick of turning up to functions and being powhiri’d and haka’d particularly when there is absolutely no reason why ethnic identification of any kind needs to be introduced/forced upon me. David
My granddaughter asked me if she had to learn maori so that the maori people got more money from the government.  Brian
It’s been sucking money for decades on life support. Time to flick the switch to off. Plenty of better holes for the govt to toss our money into.  Derejk
The Treaty of Waitangi was an agreement that met the needs of the time. It is now a historic document that has no relevance to the times we now live in. Those calling themselves Maori are Kiwis and we should be one nation with universal rights and privileges and not a nation divided against itself. Recognise the Treaty but consign it to history from a legal point of view..  John
Te reo should be offered in schools as an option, just as languages other than English are offered.  Mary
No absolutely not.If the language is on life support, flick off the switch Campbell
Not a universally useful language. Michael
I think it should remain as an elective choice although we should all be taught to say the names of our cities correctly Sharon
Absolutely not !  Andrew
Maori language will eat up time spent on Speaking and writing correct English and spelling, history, maths, critical thinking and geography. Maori will be useless outside NZ, as English is a global lingua franca for business. Jo T N
Compulsory Te reo would reduce time available for education on matters which would help advancement in the world. Peter
Children should learn a second language and te reo should be an option but not a requirement Frank
It should be taught at home not by the state. Language lessons should be available to those who WANT to study it.  Nick
Not ever. Mike
It will never be any use other than for maoris David
One people, one language. Ross
It’s nonsense Bob
No no NO never, Te reo is a bush talk of the early maori, definitely not a go forward talk for nz today. James
A second language does apparently improve brain function in children. But let’s teach them one having some use in their future lives! In international trade, in overseas travel and such! Maori has not such value at all. Hugh
It is a dead language. John
Why not teach Gaelic it is the language of my greet grandparents? Arthur
Re introduce the 50% rule for being a particular race. Chris
Compulsion is a favourite ploy of the political left: they arrogantly believe that because they know better than everyone else, we must all be made to adopt their worldview. Freedom of choice is seen as a threat by the socialists. What’s equally reprehensible is the obvious strategy of trying to indoctrinate children with “Maori culture” (there’s an oxymoron!) before they are old enough to know their own minds. It’s a scheme of which Josef Goebbels would have been proud. Graham
When is all this crap going to end, I do not want to speak maori, and I should not have to be pressured into having it become compulsory to hear it! Bill
It should be a personal choice. Another language would be more appropriate for many, so let the people choose. Donald
Like hundreds of languages on this planet which have served their early purpose, the Maori language will fade to only historical importance.  William
A total waste of education, should be voluntary not compulsory, it’s useless in the real World  Graeme
It has no value internationally except in China where research indicates the language evolved from. (Ref the book titled 1421) Kristene 
It is of no real use! Penina
Ancient / old languages, such as Latin and Maori dialects need to be allowed to die and be replaced by more modern languages. The education system should be encouraging the improved teaching of English language skills, which appears to be lacking John
The Maori language is understood by too few to be given any consideration. Ref to the Statistic Dept, and 2013 census. David
Compulsory Maori language lessons in schools is just another piece of left wing, socialist, social engineering designed to (ironically) dumb down the populace for easier control and exploitation. David
If it’s so important to part Maori why don’t they reach it to their children  Greg
It has no place in the education system What is the point of having a language that is not spoken anywhere else in the world. Get real teach a language that would be of use in the future. We don’t use a slide rule or abacus to count with now so why put us back 100 years learning a language that needs to die. Andrew
English is the universal language and Te Reo should be no more compulsory than any other language Wah
Like latin it is a dead language that should only be taught if the person or pupil wants it . In todays world there are other languages that would be more benificial Francis
No-But correct English should Bill
Never! Barry
Russian in the former eastern block was obligatory but try an find a Hungarian or Pole who now speaks it!!! Money wasted!!! Colin
No second launguage should be compulsory  Peter 
It should not be compulsory. Those who want to learn it can do after school hours. Frank
It’s time for this nonsense to stop Elizabeth
ENOUGH of this maori rubbish. I no longer tune into RNZ because of the over use of this maori s–t A lot of friends feel the same way about RNZ Soon it wll only be the extremists that will tune in. Neville
We have far more important things to spend taxpayers money on Bryan
It has no use in international commercial ventures. Garry
NO – NO – NO There are two issues here Firstly the issue of Schools. Our Children are NOT the playthings of Maori activism nor the slaves of any other Agenda, the 85% of Non maori have unalienable Rights and that includes the freedom to choose NOT to have the maori agenda of Te Reo forced on them. Secondly the state of Te Reo as a viable language. 50 million people fluently Speak French, 60 million People fluently speak German, over 80 million fluently speak Japanese, over 1000 million fluently speak Chinese, about 125000 speak the archaic native Maori language and most of those cannot speak it fluently. If a second language were to be compulsory then Chinese, Japanese German, French would far better serve the future needs of the majority of children, but far better to put the resources into perfecting the correct and extended use of English, the universal language of global communication. The ONLY area maori Language is needed as a language is the Waitangi Tribunal, better to scrap the Tribunal than make Te Reo compulsory. Richard
Something to consider—What if the percentages in NZ’s Population’ statistics were reversed to show Maori make up 85% and the others, Pakeha “Ngati Wikitoria” were the remaining 15%. Where Te Reo was the dominant and universal language of commerce. And English and the other languages in the remaining 15%, were largely ceremonial and spoken in the home. Do you believe Maori would be accommodating in any request, to make knowledge and use of the Minority Languages of this Populace Compulsory, by Funding the Govt Agencies, and directing the Media to do so. ??? Well do you. ???? Jack
Thank you Muriel for opening this subject. I have advocated (not very loudly) that Te Reo should be compulsary as a language for all NZers. Why? 1, it is our indigenous lanuage 2, learning a second language is great for boosting brain power – and we all need that 3, the problem we have with not knowing Te Reo is that when we are in a place in which it is spoken we do not understand what is said and the translation may not be acurate. I have said for years now that unless we learn this language we are in for this race problem – this has/is proven to be correct. So if we all learn the language we are true NZers and we will all be on the same page. Which means no one can get away with speaking behind our backs. Also this will allow the uniquness of NZers to be even more so. So I say the sooner tTe Reo becomes compulsary the better – bring it on, PS I am a ‘pakeha’ – a 5th generation NZer!!!! Ian
Useless language only those who want to learn it, learn it. Graeme
It is a dead language. students have more than enough to learn of more importance to their futures  Colin
Good luck reviving the dead.  Peter
apart from the English language , all other languages should be every ones individual choice Roy
It is all political to garner votes from Maoridom for the Socialist party. How about raising the standard of English instead? It is also an act against white NZ. Christopher 
If any other language is compulsory in NZ, Maori wouild be the last choice. It is not and never will be an international language and it would be very hard to find anyone in NZ today who did noot speak English. Liz
We don’t need this stuffed down our this throats just to keep them happy  Jimmy
A language only used by radicals!! Jon
Try speaking that in Europe and see who answers you Jim
The thin end of the divisive Maori wedge isn’t that thin any more. Stop appeasing Maori activists Kevin
This is NOT Communist Russia ,,,where dictatorship by 25% of the population control the 75% majority is acceptable. Maori language for Maori’s if they want but NOT for those who have no wish or want for a local Dying dialect! Robyn
No, it should be a choice of another language, but NOT made compulsory. 99% would have NO use for it through their life. Really it should be taught by family.  Margy
But have you noticed how, more and more, our media are peppering Maori words into announcements, news bulletins, advertisements,,,,,,essentially mixing both languages together. Well-known landmarks are changing their sign-listed place-names with Maori versions without any consultation from local Councils , leading to confusion of locality. The list goes on,,,,what a mess!! Sharen
I am thankful surviving members of my family no longer live in NZ. I would not have allowed my kids to spend time learning the useless Maori Language. Looking at the English and Maths skill in NZ reinforces this fact. NZ you are well and truly Screwed.  Chris
Sack the insane politicians who are going to (yes, going to…) inflict this on NZ society. John
Definitely NO. It’s a pure waste of time and energy for these you people to speak the language when it has no real use in the community or world wide. It’s becoming forced on us through the media and is totally irrelevant to the future. If the Maori language is to be retained and used, then it needs to come from the home, like many other people who practice their own language in the home. We are becoming totally indoctrinated and forced into doing something we do not need or, in some parts, want.  Audrey
Definitely not. It contributes zero with invented words and expressions being added annually.  David
It is not a universal language that you can use anywhere in the world! Why would we. Just look at the trade we do with ???  June
Absolute waste of time and educational resources. The people behind ‘ Te Reo’ and their motives are evil losers. Alan
Absolutely not Te Reo is a made up language to suit the situation of the day in trying to emulate the English language- how quaint. Try Hospital or school or library. Carolyn
Absolutely NOT! No students should be MADE to learn the Maori language and it should not be forced on Kiwis to the excessive degree that it is today. Things have got completely out of hand. Les
Te reo is being used as a tool for political control. Its time New Zealanders woke up to that fact. Peter
Like Gaelic, Te Reo will die out, in spite of what the activists want. Governments should stop wasting money on trying to keep it alive. Jeremy
It has become political and is dangerous and should be kept away from children.  Sally
I’m sick to death of having te reo shoved down my throat. People who want to learn it should be able to learn it but the advocates – including government agencies – should leave everyone else alone. Roger