Tikanga Māori and the rights and obligations of free speech

Photo of Tikanga Māori and the rights and obligations of free speech
The whakataukī, “He tao rākau e taea te karo; he tao kōrero, e kore e taea te karo. The taiaha can be parried, but words go straight to the heart,” is a reminder to take care with how we speak to each other and what we say. It’s striking that this whakataukī conveys the opposite meaning to the Pākehā rhyme: “Sticks and stones may break my bones. But words shall never hurt me.”