During Maori Language Week in July, my wife and I attended a kapa haka concert followed by a hangi at our grandson’s school. It was a charming event in which the whole school performed. We were impressed with the way even the younger classes had memorised the words and actions of the songs.
It’s good that they are exposed to Maori culture, because that’s part of what it means to be a New Zealander. The kids obviously love it and I’m sure the teachers find it much more enjoyable – easier, too – than dreary stuff like writing and spelling.
But I detect a distinct change of mood in recent weeks: a stiffening resistance to the rising clamour from Maori voices seeking to embed a two-tier system in which they would control crucial assets and resources.
First published in the Nelson Mail and Manawatu Standard.