Te Reo Māori: PEN Declaration on Linguistic Diversity
As Māori language week draws to a close, it is time to reconsider our commitment to Te Reo Māori. Since 1978 PEN has advocated strongly in favour of linguistic diversity, playing a leading role in the creation of the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights (1996). The Declaration, which proclaims equality of linguistic rights, considers collective and individual dimensions of linguistic rights to be inseparable. On the 40th Anniversary of the first Māori Language Week, it is concerning to hear experts such as Dr Timoti Karetu (the first Māori Language Commissioner) and Māori Development Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell, voice concerns for the future of Te Reo Māori in this country. In 2011 PEN developed a 10 point document as a tool to defend and promote linguistic rights around the world. The Girona Manifesto states that linguistic diversity is a world heritage that must be valued and protected.
For further information on PEN or any issues or concerns raised above please contact Dana Wensley, PEN Representative for NZ at PEN@nzauthors.org.nz