the Māori language
It’s become noticeable of late that government departments are increasingly sprinkling Māori terminology throughout their documents and the language they use. It’s crept up slowly and now seems to be ubiquitous.
It’s encouraging that the Māori language is being embraced and appreciated in non-Māori circles – long may it continue. But there is a fundamental problem with the trend in government departments. Apart from just jumping on a bandwagon, the state is colonising the Māori language to cover its own failures on policy that affects Māori. A pig by any other name is still a pig.
Take for example Oranga Tamariki. Even the name itself is problematic. The branding got off to a bad start in the English version and then Māori was used to paper over their flaws. The original name was the Ministry for Vulnerable Children. This was, understandably, branded as patronising and labelling children with negative connotations.