What are the goals of the Commission?
To empower iwi Māori to maintain and generate reo development amongst their communities
To maintain and improve the quality of te Reo Māori
Increase the number of people using te Reo Māori by increasing the opportunities to learn
The maintenance and dissemination of Māori language resources and corpus
To increase the rate of language development so that te Reo Māori can keep pace with technological development
To foster positive attitudes towards te Reo Māori by all New Zealanders
To increase the number of situations where Māori is used
What is the Māori Language Commission?
The Māori Language Commission was set up under the Māori Language Act 1987 to promote the use of Māori as a living language and as an ordinary means of communication.
What does the Māori Language Act 1987 do?
The Act came into force in August 1987. It does three things:
- It declares the Māori language to be an official language of New Zealand.
- In Courts of Law, Commissions of Inquiry and Tribunals, it confers the right to speak Māori upon any member of the Court, any party, witness or counsel.
- It establishes Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission).
Government Māori language objectives
- To increase the number of people who know the Māori language by increasing the opportunities to learn Māori.
- To improve the proficiency levels of Māori in speaking, listening, reading and writing Māori.
- To increase the opportunities to use Māori by increasing the number of situations where Māori can be used.
- To increase the rate at which the Māori language develops so that it can be used for the full range of modern activities.
- To foster among Māori and non-Māori positive attitudes, accurate beliefs and positive values about the Māori language so that Māori-English bilingualism becomes a valued part of New Zealand.
What does the Commission do?
The Commission's work includes:
- Promoting and raising awareness of the Māori language and Māori language issues;
- Promote quality standards of written and spoken Māori through initiatives such as advanced immersion courses, a Māori language checking service, the Commission's quarterly newsletter He Muka and public service attestation's;
- Administering examinations for candidates seeking formal certification as translators and interpreters;
- Researching and formulating policy related to the promotion, maintenance and progression of the Māori language;
Lexical expansion work including the production of glossaries.
How is the Commission organised?
The Commission meets at least six times a year. The secretariat is headed by a Chief Executive which carries out research, policy advice, translation checking work, promotional activities, and tasks assigned by Commission members.
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