English, an Official Language

PETITION TO MAKE ENGLISH AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF NZ

MAKE OUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE A FORMALLY DESIGNATED OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF NZ

The English language is the most widely and accepted spoken language in NZ, but only Maori and sign language are the only two languages formally designated as ‘Official languages’ and have special status under the law.

So we Grey Power want to help put this right!  R Bishop has a petition under way to do just that:

Come down to our Office in the Historic Village and sign our Petition form or download, print, sign and return to our Grey Power office..

Note below the response from ‘Simon Bridges MP’ office regarding this subject

From: Glenn Harris
Subject: Official Languages of New Zealand

Good afternoon. – I have been asked what legislation, if any, makes English an official language of New Zealand.

I am aware there is some legislation, e.g. Tax Administration Act (that requires records to be kept in English) and that the Courts, Parliament, Education and Public Sector “commonly use” English but I have been unable to find any legislation that enshrines it in the same way as Maori (in 1987) and Sign Language (in 2006)

Our constituent is seeking advice on how English is “official” as a language – then failing that will start a petition (on which we will offer guidance).

Looking forward to your input. A reply by Friday 5 December would be appreciated.

Glenn Harris  – Electorate Agent  Office of Hon Simon BridgesMember of Parliament for Tauranga

 

Good afternoon Robin

It seems you are correct. There is no legislation that enshrines English as an official language of New Zealand.

Please see below the reply I have received from a researcher in Parliament’s library.

This outcome will no doubt lead you to wanting to petition Parliament seeking the necessary legislation…..

Thanks for creating the opportunity to look into this matter – it’s been an interesting exercise.

Glenn Harris  Electorate Agent

Office of Hon Simon BridgesMember of Parliament for Tauranga

 

Subject: RE: Official Languages of New Zealand

Please find attached advice from the Office for Disability Issues to the Justice and Electoral Committee on the New Zealand Sign Language Bill. The Committee requested information on the basis for English being an official language of New Zealand.

The concluding paragraph states:  In summary we are unaware of a statutory provision declaring English to be an official language, its status as an official language is based on custom and practice.

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