Te Pāti Māori have called for the resignation of the Ministry of Foreign and Trade chief executive Chris Seed following his decision to erase te reo Māori from government communications. While the country still waits for a new government to be formed, Mr Seed took it upon himself to undermine his office’s obligations to Māori without any prior consultation.
Mr Seed is either bowing to the anti-Māori rhetoric that was prevalent throughout the election campaign, or he has only been paying lip service to te reo Māori until we had a change of government.
“The Ministry is happy to sell our culture and language overseas while showing no respect for it at home” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi.
“If this is how you are going to treat te iwi Māori behind closed doors then you are unfit for office and need to step down” said Waititi.
“We have just landed on the other side of an election campaign that was very hostile toward te reo Māori” said co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“Our incoming prime minister is currently in negotiations with a Party that wants to completely erase te reo from our government departments.
“I am deeply concerned that this moves signals things to come under a new government” said co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
Te Pāti Māori’s call doesn’t only apply to MFAT’s CEO however:
“We are putting every government department on notice” said Waititi.
“We will not allow this type of behaviour and attitude to go unchallenged” Waititi said.
“We will not tolerate any move that threatens to undermine our reo and undo the years of progress. We will not accept your excuses” Ngarewa-Packer said.