Wednesday, 23 July 2008

celebrating te reo

have to say that i'm really enjoying maori language week. it's really great to see radio and television pick it up, with presenters speaking more maori as they start their shows. they are probably butchering the pronunciation, but it's the effort that counts.

i've always been a fan of bilingualism, and i think that new zealanders should be able to speak more of the language that is native to this country. i see it as part of our cultural heritage, part of what being a kiwi is all about. english, after all, is spoken all around the world. but maori is special to us, and we should cherish that.

unfortunately i know very little te reo myself. i'll put in the few bits that i know in a pretty meaningless fashion, just to enter into the spirit of maori language week: wahine, aroha, puku, ka kite, kia ora, wai, roto, kai, kai moana, kowhai, haere mai, ka pai, tena koutou ka toa, marae, whanau, iwi, hapu, tangata whenua, tino rangatiratanga, manaakitanga, whakapapa, tikanga maori, mana, powhiri, tangi, waiata, kapa haka, kohanga reo, kura kaupapa, wananga, te tari taake, tahi rua toru wha rima ono whitu wharu te kahu, te arikinui, mihi, korero, kete, whare, waka, rangitahi, mokopuna, pounamu, taonga.

on another note, apparently it is cheaper to rent than to buy a home. that doesn't mean it's better though. i'm trying to recall who gave a presentation a couple of years ago showing the benefits of home ownership - can see his face but can't remember the name. will pop it in if i remember.

anyway, some of the benefits of home ownership are:
- improved health outcomes. homes that are owned are usually better maintained and built with better quality materials than rental properties.
- improved outcomes for children, in that owning a home tends to mean that people settle in one place for longer. that has flow-on effects, eg in terms of kids not changing schools regularly, attending the same GP for a longer period (again leading to better health outcomes).
- improved communties, as people are more likely to know their neighbours and build up a sense of community when they are settled long-term in a particular place. stronger communities mean, amongst other things, less crime.
- increased wealth, because paying rent increases the wealth of the property owner but does nothing for the tennant. however, paying off a mortgage increases ownership of a substantial asset.

there were lots of other benefits, but i wasn't taking notes (i really should have!). the standard sets out why anyone would want to highlight the benefits of renting. turns out it's the lobby group for landlords, who just may have a vested interest in encouraging people to rent. let me state that i'm a landlord of sorts, but can nonetheless see how owning a home is a much better option than renting. in terms of economic and social policy, we should definitely be encouraging the former.

No comments: