INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour Shows Ignorance Of Maori Language

Published: Wed 14 Jul 1999 02:13 PM
Te Tai Hauauru MP, Tuku Morgan said the Labour Party displayed its intolerance for the Maori language in the House today.
Parliament came to a standstill for almost 20 minutes because Labour MP Johnathan Hunt wanted a translation from Tuku Morgan as he spoke Maori.
Mr Morgan stood to speak on the Maori Purposes Bill in te reo, but Mr Hunt interjected saying that he wanted the Te Tai Hauauru MP to translate his speech for his benefit.
"I have seen and experienced narrow-mindedness and bigotry before, but the display of racism in the House that I was subjected to this morning was highly arrogant.
"It was suggested that I could only speak Maori if I translated into English as well. I found that rude and ignorant. New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters challenged my understanding of Maori, and insulted Pacific Island people by referring to people from Rarotonga as Tongans.
"This mornings morning session in Parliament was ignorance unplugged," Tuku Morgan said.
Ends.

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