Community Law launches te reo Māori resource

Te reo Māori speakers can now read about the legal status of te reo Māori in te reo Māori thanks to a new bilingual chapter in the Community Law Manual.

As part of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Community Law is releasing its annual update of the Community Law Manual, an easy-to-read, practical guide to everyday New Zealand law.

Wi Pere Mita, Co-Chair of Ngā Kaiāwhina Hapori Māori o te Ture, Community Law’s Māori Caucus, said last year the manual included a new first chapter, Te reo Māori, which explains the legal status of the Māori language in Aotearoa, sets out New Zealanders rights to speak te reo Māori in courts and tribunals, and offers practical advice for Māori speakers who wish to do so.

“This year, the Te reo Māori chapter has been translated into te reo, making it the first fully bilingual chapter in the Community Law Manual.

“Community Law want to affirm the mana of te reo Māori, and its legal status as an official language of Aotearoa by making sure the words on the page reflect the meaning behind them. As Sir James Hēnare said, ‘Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori!’”

The Community Law Manual is a resource developed and updated annually by Community Law to help New Zealanders (and their advocates) help themselves, by setting out legal information in an accessible way.

This year, the Employment; Harassment and cyber-bullying; Work and Income; Child, Youth and Family; and Māori and chapters have been overhauled, with the remaining 30-odd chapters updated.

The manual also has two new chapters –Common crimes, which sets out information about common minor offences that people face in the criminal courts; and A death in the family, aimed at helping whānau when a loved one dies.

The Community Law Manual is available in print and online at http://communitylaw.org.nz/legal-information/

Media contact:

Wi Pere Mita: 021 201 5090, WiPere.Mita@otaralaw.org.nz

Background

Twenty-four Community Law Centres work out of over 140 locations across New Zealand to provide free legal help and advice to those who are unable to pay for a private lawyer or who do not have access to legal aid. This advice covers all aspects of New Zealand’s legal system, including family law, employment issues, housing problems, consumer advice and criminal law. As well as around 170 staff, Community Law’s services are boosted by over 1,200 volunteer lawyers who run clinics and deliver free advice and assistance.

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