WHERE IS MAORI LANGUAGE PLANNING USEFUL?
Te Reo o te kāinga
Speaking Māori to Tamariki
Planning ways to help whānau speak
Māori in the home environment is particularly important as it
supports intergenerational language
transmission (the natural way that language is passed from parent to
child) and helps children grow up with reo Māori as an ordinary
feature of everyday life.
Using reo Māori within our households with our children is the
best way to make sure that Māori becomes a living and normal means
of communication for future generations. Living in Aotearoa gives
you the opportunity to help your child or children become a Māori
language speaker – even if you don’t speak Māori yourself. There
are plenty of language learning opportunities and support to
encourage basic communication in the home. The most important thing
is that your children see value in the language being spoken. This
can only really happen when you speak it.
Te Reo o te Marae
Reo, Tikanga, Identity
Marae connect us to Māori cultural traditions and ancestry
through our orators, kaikōrero and kaikaranga, and the customs
inherent to marae such as pōhiri and tangihanga. The marae is one
of the few places where reo-a-iwi and tikanga are expressed through
the support of kaumätua, kuia and historians of local iwi and hapü
knowledge. Because of this, the marae is one of the few
institutions today where the Māori language still has a strong
Yet we cannot be complacent about reo Māori on our marae because
it is now becoming more common to hear people speaking English both
outside of and as part of ceremonial activities.
If we want marae to remain a stronghold for Māori language use,
careful language planning will need to take place around the reo
Māori abilities and awareness, particularly of those in the current
40+ years age group, as they are to become the elders and keepers of
tradition and tikanga on the marae (paepae, karanga etc). The
Health of the Māori Language 2001 survey identified that overall,
those in the 35-44 age group (born and raised during the Māori urban
migration of 1950s and 1960s, had the lowest levels of Māori
Te Reo o te Hapori
Using reo Māori in everyday life.
Communities have a significant role to play in supporting
language regeneration because of their influence on individuals and
families in their lives outside the home environment. Communities
can be made up of a variety of people and organisations, and are
important because of their potential to create language domains
(places or situations that support Māori language use) and
opportunities to learn and use the language.
Today, there are many examples of Maori driven language and
culture initiatives such as Māori Language Clubs, Te Ataarangi,
köhanga reo, kura kaupapa and wānanga reo Māori.
Māori language planning is necessary to ensure that community
initiated language activities are developed that support people’s
ability to use reo Māori in their everyday lives so that the reo
does not become a language isolated and reserved only for ceremonial
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