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Crown actions had impact on te reo

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/04/2016

Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell will acknowledge the Crown's past policies and practices had a detrimental effect on the Maori language.

Mr Flavell will on Tuesday move an amendment to the Maori Language (Te Reo Maori) Bill to acknowledge the Crown's past actions contributed to the decline in Maori language and had a negative impact on generations of iwi and Maori.

But the move stops short of an apology.

"Maori are familiar with the painful memories recalled by our grandparents and parents generations who were discouraged, and in some cases physically abused, for speaking te reo Maori at school or in public places," Mr Flavell said.

"I hope the statement goes some way to acknowledging the pain and loss suffered as a result of successive Crown policies that have denied and suppressed our right to use te reo Maori."

Mr Flavell said the amendment isn't an attempt to address all historic grievances around the Maori language.

But he said if te reo Maori is to thrive in the future it needs a collective effort from Crown, iwi, Maori and the general public.

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has defended not making a blanket apology, saying the way the government is doing it through its deeds of settlement with individual iwi is best.

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