Don Brash defends anti-Māori language stance

  • 02/12/2017
Don Brash
Don Brash Photo credit: Getty

Embattled former politician Don Brash has gone on RNZ to defend his opposition to the network's use of Te Reo.

He told Saturday Morning show host Kim Hill while he respected Te Reo's place as an official language, he didn't appreciate being "forced" to listen to words he does not understand.

"I turn on RNZ news at six to hear Morning Report and I have to listen to a couple of sentences in Te Reo from Guyon Espiner," he said.

Asked if it worried him, the former Reserve Bank Governor said yes, because he felt people would not understand what it means.

"Not three percent of people listening to RNZ at that time will have the faintest clue what he's talking about."

Ms Hill argued it was the broadcaster's responsibility to uphold its charter, which requires the integrations of all cultures in New Zealand, including Māori.

The controversy began with an opinion piece in the Otago Daily Times against the use of Te Reo on Radio New Zealand National.

Dr Brash made a Facebook post on Friday, November 24, supporting the opinion piece, saying he was "utterly sick" of the use of Te Reo on RNZ's primarily English language broadcasts.

The sentence Dr Brash is likely taking offence to is "Kei te whakarongo mai koe ki Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa," which often begins RNZ broadcasts.

It translates to "You're listening to Radio New Zealand National."

Dr Brash said he tries to avoid listening to the phrase, and if people would like to hear Māori they should go to Māori language-only broadcasters.

The full interview with Dr Brash can be listened to on RNZ's website.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: