It seems that Labour MP Su’a William Sio would like to be sworn in in Samoan, but will not be able to.
No Right Turn is outraged, this is the linguistic version of the invasion of Iraq.
Labour MP Su’a William Sio is annoyed that he will not be allowed to be sworn in as an MP in Samoan. According to s11 of the Constitution Act 1986, MPs must take an Oath of Allegiance as prescribed in the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957. And while that Act allows oaths and declarations to be made in Maori, it does not seem to permit any other language other than English.
This is needlessly shitty. As a tolerant, diverse, and multicultural nation, New Zealand should not be engaging in this sort of puerile linguistic imperialism. Something as simple as an oath or declaration should be able to be made in any language, not just English or Maori
That bollivating aside, there’s more here than meets the eye, and this was explained on Checkpoint.
Sio is in fact a returning MP, and says he took the oath in Samoan when he was inducted as a list MP.
Unfortuantly, he didn’t. He took it in english, then repeated it in a Samoan translation.
That was fine when he was the only guy being sworn in, but this time he’s one of 122 MPs, and they don’t want to spend all day repeating the same oaths over and over in non-binding languages.
Fair enough too. If he wants to have a little ceremony in front of pacific people, he’s welcome to, but there comes a point where petty sensitivity stops and business is allowed to start.
And National have a lot of business to get through.