25th July 1999
For immediate release
Mauri Pacific Leader, Tau Henare, said his party's MPs would celebrate Maori Language week by speaking te reo in
Parliament during debates and question time.
Mr Henare said he and Te Tai Hauauru MP, Tuku Morgan would speak only in Maori and would not provide any translations.
Other MP's including Rana Waitai, Rev. Ann Batten and Hon. Jack Elder would also speak Maori as often as possible in
their speeches in support of Maori Language Week, Tau Henare said.
"This is a conscious effort by Mauri Pacific to support te reo Maori, as an official language of our nation. In doing so
we acknowledge the work of people like Hana Te Hemara, who petitioned Parliament in the mid 80's to make Maori an
official language," Tau Henare said.
He added that Mauri Pacific would issue press releases this week only in Maori, and the party would not provide any
translations for these releases.
"There are various ways that people can celebrate Maori Language week, and this is our contribution. I hope all New
Zealanders would participate in the last Maori Language Week celebration for this century, which has brought positive
gains for the Maori language and culture."
He said he looked forward to more robust debate in the House this week on the subject of the use of Maori language.