Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Labour on the wrong side of history

Last week, Stuff asked Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis about compulsory te reo Māori in primary schools. And as usual for Labour, he firmly rejected the idea, citing fears of a public backlash. Today, Stats NZ released data from the 2021 General Social Survey, showing us thatfears of that backlash are imaginary. In addition to a welcome uptick of use of te reo, there was also this:

62 percent (up from 57 percent) of people agreed or strongly agreed that te reo Māori should be a core subject in primary schools

57 percent (up from 53 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that the government should encourage and support the use of te reo Māori in everyday situations

56 percent (up from 51 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that signage should be in both te reo Māori and English

Which makes sense. There's been a significant change in public use and acceptance of te reo in the past few years (which comes on top of significant change over the course of my life). There's a public recognition that te reo is a taonga, one of the things that makes Aotearoa Aotearoa. Its everywhere now - on the street, on TV and radio, in government press conferences. And apart from a few dirty old racists (who are gradually dying off), we like this, because its who we are now.

And in the face of this change - which they helped promote years ago - Labour is resolutely on the wrong side of history. As with capital gains taxes. They need to learn to read the fucking room. But maybe the real problem is that the only room they're interested in is the one full of rich old racists?