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August 5, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Editorial – Te Ao Marama

Welcome to the Te Ao Mārama issue of Salient.

For a number of years now, Salient has produced an annual issue in conjunction with Ngāi Tauira, Victoria’s Māori Students’ Association. This partnership is enshrined in the Salient Charter, and seeks to reflect the partnership embodied in our most important constitutional document: Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Sadly, just as with every Waitangi Day that passes, the Te Ao Mārama issue has traditionally attracted a stream of complaints directed at Salient, Ngāi Tauira, and Māori for producing an issue in Te Reo and English. (God forbid that we would have the audacity to print a magazine in not one, but two of New Zealand’s official languages.)

As flattering as it may be to fool ourselves that the root of this outrage is simply the fact that you miss us, the sad truth is that most of the vitriol is borne from your RACIST, IGNORANT BELIEFS.

Come on Victoria, you’re better than this.

For too many years now, race relations in New Zealand have been put in the too hard basket, while unresolved anger bubbles just below the surface, rearing its ugly head on The Pakeha Party Facebook page, or in the Salient Letters section after the Te Ao Mārama issue is produced.

This year the Constitutional Advisory Panel has been consulting New Zealanders (that’s us!) on what we think our Aotearoa should look like. In making these decisions, we need to make sure that the conversations that get the most air-time are those that are informed and inclusive, rather than those that are ignorant and exclusive. We all have a responsibility to try a bit harder when it comes to understanding each other; it’s the only way we’re going to move forward.

So this year, let’s be a little more mature about the Te Ao Mārama issue. Sure, a lot of you may not understand some of this week’s content, but why not take the opportunity to learn a little more about New Zealand’s first official language—you can take classes for free! Head to korero.maori.nz for more information. Alternatively, there’s a wee Te Reo phrase for you to learn at the bottom of every page.

 

Molly & Stella

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About the Author ()

Molly McCarthy and Stella Blake-Kelly are Salient Co-Editors for 2013, AKA Salient Babes.

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