MP Kanongata‘a vows to fight on after bid to take oaths in mother tongue fails

Fakahā 'e he Mēmipa Fale Alea Tonga he Fale Alea Nu'u SIla' 'e 'ikai holomui 'e kei tuiaki pe kae 'oua kuo tali ke fili e kau Mēmipa' ki he lea te ne lau'aki 'ene fuakava ke hoko ko e Mēmipa Fale Alea' 'o kau ai e lea ne nau tupu hake mo ia'. Ko 'ene tu'u 'a e lao' ko e lea 'Ingilisi' pe mo e lea faka-Mauli' 'oku tali ke fai ai 'a e fuakava'. Ne fakahū atu 'e 'Anahila Kanongata'a Suisuiki 'ene lao fakaangaanga ke liliu e lao' ke lava 'a e Memipa 'o fili ki he lea te ne loto ki ai'. Ne pāloti'i 'e he Fale' 'o 'ikai tali 'i he ola ko e 65 ki he 54.

A Tongan MP in New Zealand Parliament has vowed to keep fighting after her bill to recognise minority languages in Parliament was rejected.

Labour’s ‘Anahila Kanongata’a Suisuiki recently introduced a private member’s bill in New Zealand’s Parliament seeking to amend the law which only recognises members swearing their allegiance in English and Te Reo Maori.

The bill sought to allow members to choose the language which best suited them when being sworn in, reported Radio New Zealand.

She said this reflected the increased diversity of modern New Zealand, and would allow Pacific people to better understand the gravity of the act.

The bill was defeated 65 votes to 54 in its first reading last week but Ms Kanongata’a-Suisuiki vowed to fight on and quoted a Maori proverb.

“Kaua e mate wheke, mate ururoa!”

“Which means, don’t die like an octopus, die like a hammerhead,” she said.

“Octopus are renowned for their lack of resistance when being captured, however a hammerhead shark will fight bitterly to the end.”

Currently, members of parliament can seek permission from the speaker to use their mother tongue but agreement has to be sought from every member of the house.

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