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Te reo benefits us all

Letter

Maori Language Week is an opportunity for us to reflect on how fortunate we all are to have te reo Maori designated an official language of our country.

The opportunity for members of indigenous populations to learn, speak, write and communicate in their native tongue benefits the whole society.

It is heartening to see an increasing number of non-Maori people take joy in learning te reo Maori alongside their peers. This will go a long way towards encouraging a deeper understanding and appreciation of tikanga, strengthening the unity in diversity that New Zealand sorely needs.

Language is the expression of the spirit of a people and the vehicle of its cohesive and inspiring traditions. Facility in te reo Maori can produce an enrichment of the heritage of the entire population and can act as a stabilising influence in society.

Worldwide, indigenous populations must have the fundamental right to develop and take pride in their own identity, culture and language.

Gisborne Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly