Te reo Māori support not readily available in past times

May 18, 2022

I am writing to you about the Kaitiaki news piece “Nursing magazine ditches century-old healthy-food title, finally becomes ‘guardian’” by co-editor Joel Maxwell [Feb 25, 2022]

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I am very pleased that the journal has been re-titled to reflect its aims, but I felt that [then Kaitiaki co-editor] Joel Maxwell simply demonstrated how our outgoing [acting] chief executive Mairi Lucas was truly disrespectful of our past, and it showed that he agreed with that.

Maxwell reported that NZNO kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku identified that Kaitiaki founder Hester Maclean was even at that time trying to be inclusive and respectful [to Māori], yet I don’t think that Mairi Lucas or Joel Maxwell realise just how fortunate we are these days to be enabled to achieve this respect. We now have dedicated support [for te reo Māori and te ao Māori], people who can ensure we don’t make a mistake (if we follow the advice). In Hester Maclean’s time, I doubt this was easily available. I believe that Joel Maxwell’s article could and should have identified this.

This was a learning opportunity for us to ask for the right advice for our future actions and a reminder to take more care when using te reo Māori, rather than just spout criticism of our past actions.

Kia pai tō rā: Have a good day,

Polly Grainger, RN, MN,