Case in point
"Former Kiwi Richie Blackmore has been overturned as head coach of the new Manukau provincial rep side – partly because he doesn't speak Maori.
Directors of the Counties Manukau zone board vetoed a New Zealand Rugby League appointments panel recommendation to give the job to Blackmore, head coach of top Auckland club Otahuhu.
One of three reasons they cited in a report written on the coaching u-turn was that their preferred candidate, Rusty Matua, spoke fluent Maori and had an understanding of tikanga.
Both coaches are Maori; Blackmore has served as assistant coach of New Zealand Maori.Looks like a story
"Despite referring to the language issue in the written report, zone board chairman Ken Lotu-Liga said the factor of Matua's fluency in te reo Maori had been "taken out of context and wasn't really factored in the decision"
Lotu-Liga couldn't be reached yesterday, but told today's Sunday News: "People have said that this [speaking Maori] is something that he [Rusty] can do, but realistically it wasn't really part of the main decision as to why he was selected. It's been read incorrectly. It was part of what he can do in terms of listing his skills that he can bring to the job."Nah not really a story - or perhaps the story is about imposing something on others without proper consultation, or maybe personalities. Nevertheless some have waded into the fray.
"Former Kiwis coach Frank Endacott slammed the decision as "ridiculous".
"That's ridiculous if it was used as a criteria. I don't believe that should be the case for missing a job," he said. "If that is the case, then it is discrimination at its worst.
"It is up to the zone board to make their own decisions, but if that was one of the criteria why one coach got it over another, I think it is totally out of order. I am a Pakeha and have coached Maori and Island players all my life and never had a problem communicating... so that leaves me absolutely stunned."And for me a story could start here - how can frank say that he has coached these players without knowing their language and, "there has never been a problem communicating" How would you know frank - you can't speak the language. There is much that is being missed, much that cannot be communicated in english. It would seem like a good idea that top coaches DO learn te reo so that they can help their charges achieve their potential. How great would it be to have all of the top teams and coaches speaking te reo - for the sporties - that would help everyone win. It would be a strategic and tactical advantage. For the rest of us it would be a bridge building exercise that would help bind this country together.
If they started now the all blacks might be ready to sing in te reo by the time the cup comes along.