Human Rights Commission says “Te Reo Māori is a right”


The Human Rights Commission will no longer consider individual complaints regarding the use of te reo Māori or the term Pākehā.

He announced that in the future only a standard response would be provided.

Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Elvy said the Commission does not offer its service to resolve these complaints.

Human rights law defines the types of discrimination that are illegal. Using te reo doesn’t match the criteria, ”she says. “So it aligns with our legislation and better directs our resources.”

Past complaints have erroneously suggested that the use of the word Pākehā is pejorative, and that in te reo forms and greetings discriminate Pākehā.

Te reo Maori is an official language in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and all indigenous peoples also have a fundamental right to self-determination and the protection of their language, culture and heritage. This is particularly the case in Aotearoa, where He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi asserted the inherent right of tangata whenua in Tino Rangatiratanga.

The Office of Human Rights Prosecutions is an independent office within the Commission. Individuals can request legal representation there if their complaint has not been resolved at the Commission. Its director of human rights procedures is Michael Timmins.

“I tautoko this kaupapa of the Commission. While I am a director, my office will not accept such requests for legal representation, ”he said.

State-sanctioned attempts to assimilate Maori into British culture by suppressing the language have a long and documented history in Aotearoa. For over 100 years, Maori children have been beaten and traumatized in Indigenous schools for speaking their Reo. However, by 1987 the change had started and Te reo Maori was recognized as the official language in Aotearoa.

Although the language remains in danger, its use has grown, with many believing that it should be celebrated and protected, as exemplified by the widespread engagement with Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

Today’s announcement is in line with that of other public bodies such as the Broadcasting Standards Authority, which announced in March that it would stop hearing complaints about the use of te reo.

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