Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A Parliament that sounds like Aotearoa

I'm watching the swearing in of MPs today on Parliament TV, and pleased to hear the linguistic diversity in our Parliament. In addition to a good number of MPs doing their oaths or affirmations in Te Reo, there's also been Samoan, Tongan, Dutch, Korean, plus (as best as I can guess) Arabic, Chinese, and Hindi, and no doubt others where I wasn't paying attention. MMP gave us a Parliament that looks like Aotearoa; now we've got one that sounds like it too. Unfortunately, a quirk of procedure means that anything not in English or Te Reo isn't legal, and must be done separately afterwards. Which is pretty obviously something we need to fix. These are all languages of Aotearoa, and it is bizarre that they cannot be used for this basic administrative act. Our law should reflect modern Aotearoa, not the colonial New Zealand of the 1950's.

(As for the ritual grovelling to the foreign monarch, its distasteful and demeaning and needs to change too. Our politicians should serve the people and the country who elected them, not some unelected inbred on the other side of the world who claims their "authority" by divine right).