Trying to make English an official language

Nothing is set by being submitted as a Member’s Bill – first it has to be drawn, and the odds are against that. Then if it is drawn it needs to pass through Parliament.

Clayton Mitchell wants to make English an official language of NZ – this might just have supplanted Nuk Korako’s “lost luggage” bill as the biggest waste of Parliament’s time…

Is this trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist?

English has long been the de facto official language.

Māori  was also made an official language, in 1987.

And New Zealand Sign Language became a third official language in  New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006.

From the Māori Language Act 1987:

Recognition of Māori language

3 Māori language to be an official language of New Zealand

The Māori language is hereby declared to be an official language of New Zealand.

4 Right to speak Māori in legal proceedings

(1) In any legal proceedings, the following persons may speak Māori, whether or not they are able to understand or communicate in English or any other language…

(4) Where, in any proceedings, any question arises as to the accuracy of any interpreting from Māori into English or from English into Māori, the question shall be determined by the presiding officer in such manner as the presiding officer thinks fit.

It’s quite clear from this that it was intended that Māori and English were to be co-official languages.