Politics | Te Reo Māori

New government wants to erase Māori – Waititi

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi claims the government wants to remove every vestige of Māori people, language and culture with its current policies.

Under a coalition agreement, National, ACT and NZ First have ordered government agencies to provide services based on need, not race. It also wants every agency that isn’t specifically related to Māori to use its English name and to communicate in English.

“This government wants to remove all trace of us as Māori,” Waititi told Te Ao News. “Our language, our place as tangata whenua, our efforts to improve Māori health and include cultural considerations within Oranga Tamariki. It also wants to wipe out what our ancestors envisaged through the Treaty of Waitangi.”

‘Monstrous’ approach

Waititi likened the policies to being ‘consumed by an evil monster’ – ‘He taniwha kikino kei te kai i a tātou.’

Prime Minister Chris Luxon said while he encouraged people to use more te reo Māori, people needed to know how to “navigate their government”.

“We need every New Zealander to know what those agencies are and what they provide,” he said.

Māori Development and Crown-Māori Relations Minister Tama Potaka hinted that while he might not personally agree with the edict, he was still conscious of where his allegiance lies.

“I’ll be voicing my own individual views but we’ll come out collectively, as a coalition,” he said.