Summarised by the Centrist
Learning te reo is a luxury, “But it is te reo Māori alone which excites admiration and excitement among the chattering classes that often lurches towards liturgical levels of reverence and praise,” says freelance writer Graham Adams.
The excessive focus on te reo Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous language, is disproportionate in a country with a diverse linguistic landscape. While linguistic diversity should be celebrated, the obsession with te reo Māori overshadows other languages spoken in the country, such as Samoan, Mandarin, Hindi, French, and Dutch says freelance journalist Graham Adams.
True language heroes are often immigrants who must rapidly learn English for practical purposes, yet their linguistic achievements go uncelebrated, he says. For meaningful language revitalization, te reo Māori should be spoken more in Māori households, rather than superficially added to road signs and official documents.