Let's make English count

By: Blogger

Clayton Mitchell
New Zealand First MP

There is a Twitter parody account that makes a mockery out of proposed bills. My proposed Members Bill called the “English an Official Language of New Zealand Bill” did not escape its notice and received a good roast for trying to fix something that does not need fixing.

In 1987, Te Reo Maori was recognised as one of the official languages of New Zealand. In 2006, the same was done for New Zealand Sign Language.

Yet the very language that has been used for everyday speech by the absolute majority of this country’s inhabitants has not been recognised.

A petition was presented to parliament last year with 6,258 signatures asking the English language to be recognised. Wherever I go and whoever I speak to, people agree that there is a need to make English an official language of our country.

We are a young, rapidly growing country. The demographics of New Zealand change on a daily basis, with more and more people coming to New Zealand for a better life from all over the world.

For many, English is not their native tongue.

Our language is what allows us to communicate with each other, do business, make friends, learn and express ourselves.

Our languages are a part of our county’s identity, just like our currency and just like our country’s borders. So why not make it official? Why not come together as a nation and support this bill?