Re: Teach children useful languages, July 26 letter.
I acknowledge that we live in a free world to express our opinions, and give A. Rickard credit for having the balls to write this during Maori language week.
Big ups to our community for celebrating te reo.
Te reo Maori is not a pointless language. In fact, it is one of the easiest languages to learn and provides a good foundation for learning other languages — including Spanish, Greek, Japanese and all the Pacific languages, which have similar sentence structures and pronunciation.
When people are offended by Maori culture, I believe it is because they are ignorant and lack understanding.
Maori culture is what makes New Zealand unique; ie our national anthem. I am proud to sing it both in Maori and English — it shows that our nation stands together side-by-side, Maori and Pakeha.
Te reo was also the first language spoken in our land — for hundreds of years, before Europeans arrived.
We live in a nation where places and streets, rivers, mountains, schools, businesses (the list goes on) are commonly Maori names; te reo is a worthwhile language to learn as we are always surrounded by it, wherever we go.
It is definitely a language to learn (at least the basics) as it gives people, non-Maori and Maori, understanding of the identity of our nation.
Te reo Maori is a beautiful, poetic language, but only a person with an open heart and mind will understand.
N. K ENNEDY