National Maori Authority demands an end to the weaponization of Te Reo Maori – rules out referendum
The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has ruled out the need for a referendum on “Aotearoa” being used in place of “New Zealand” by National Party Leader, Judith Collins. Tukaki has once again asked politicians to stop weaponizing Te Reo Maori and Maori in order to capture votes and divide the nation:
“We have been calling New Zealand “Aotearoa” for years and no one has an issue with it other than the fringe who want us all to believe there is some sort of conspiracy here – there is no conspiracy and the use of “Aotearoa” is well in practice across the nation. No one is saying get rid of New Zealand altogether – that’s a tactic to get people to buy into the very worst of politics which is race baiting” Tukaki said
“Not withstanding the cost of such a referendum would be in the tens of millions of dollars and forgive me if I’m wrong the last waste of money referendum was about flags – and look where that got us? We are still flying the same flag.” Tukaki said
“What concerns me is where all of this is continuing to lead – division, race baiting and dirty politics. For those in National that have an issue with using Te Reo Maori, saying Aotearoa or Kia Ora – simple, its your choice. As much as I would like to encourage all New Zealanders to use a little Te Reo Maori every day if you’d rather not I get it.” Tukaki said
“But the weaponization of Te Reo Maori must end. I am sick and tired of politicians putting this out there, lobbing the grenade and then running away and hiding from their actions. What they are doing, and continue to do, is create the operating environment whereby others then come in and keyboard warrior the joint – so take some responsibility for your shock and awe tactics.” Tukaki said
Tukaki emphasised talk of a referendum was party political ploy to win votes and maintain a narrative that was akin to race baiting.