From Monday, July 23, Tauranga District Court staff will be making announcements in Maori and English as district courts around the country introduce bi-lingual greetings.
Court registrars and attendants will open, adjourn and close sittings at the District, Family and Youth courts in both languages.
New Zealand Law Society president Jonathan Temm says he’s surprised te reo Maori is only now being introduced, considering it had been an official language of New Zealand since 1987.
He says there is already a significant amount of te reo being used as everyday language in state agencies and other courts including the Maori Land Court, Waitangi Tribunal and Rangatahi Youth Court.
Te Taura Whiri I te Rea Maori (The Maori Language Commission) is thrilled with the announcement.
“This is a positive move and a useful means by which we can continue to work toward realising the aspirational focus of the Maori Language Act 1987, which speaks of enabling te reo Maori as an ordinary means of communication,” says chief executive Glenis Philip-Barbara.
“This is a significant system change that takes a huge amount of good will and collaboration.”
The following greetings will be said in both Maori and English:
Turituri mo Tona Honore, te Kaiwhakawa, Taki tu - Silence for His/Her Honour the Judge. All stand.
Kua tuwhera te Kooti a-Rohe - The District Court is now open.
Turituri. Taki tu. Kua hiki te Kooti - Silence. All stand. The court is adjourned.
Kua haere ano te Kooti - The court is resumed.