23 Jun 2010

Commission looking to promote Maori words to anthem

10:43 am on 23 June 2010

The Maori Language Commission is considering ways to teach New Zealanders the Maori version of the national anthem.

Acting chief executive Wayne Ngata says having crowds or players mumbling along to God Defend New Zealand because they don't know the words would not be a good look on global television during next year's Rugby World Cup.

He told Waatea News people should know their anthem regardless of what language it is in.

The commission is considering producing booklets with the anthem to distribute through supermarkets.

Radio New Zealand reported last week that a Palmerston North rugby fan, Roy Nielsen, has written to MPs and television broadcasters in an attempt to establish a national campaign to teach people the Maori words to God Defend New Zealand.

Mr Nielsen is worried the country will be shamed next year at the Rugby World Cup because few people know the national song in Maori.