Māori language schools, radio stations, and television channel & Language Week – New Zealand

A language revives

Every year since 1975 New Zealand has marked Māori Language Week. This is a time for all New Zealanders to celebrate te reo Māori (the Māori language) and to use more Māori phrases in everyday life. In 2012 Māori Language Week is from 23–29 July, the theme is ‘Arohatia te Reo –  cherish the language’. It celebrates the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission).

Te reo Māori is undergoing a resurgence and more people speak the language. There are Māori language schools, Māori radio stations, and in 2004 a Māori television channel began broadcasting. There was a time when some people objected to hearing Māori greetings such as kia ora. The campaign to revive the language has been long.

The future of te reo Māori was the subject of a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal in 1985. The tribunal’s recommendations were far-reaching. Māori became an official language of New Zealand in 1987, alongside English. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori was established in the same year to promote te reo. Along with the Human Rights Commission and Te Puni Kōkiri, it plays a key role in the annual Māori Language Week.

Source: Māori Language Week – Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori | NZHistory, New Zealand history online, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 20-Dec-2012
Address : http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/maori-language-week
Date Visited: Mon Feb 18 2013 09:51:07 GMT+0100 (CET)

In the last 200 years the history of the Māori language (te reo Māori) has been one of ups and downs. At the beginning of the 19th century it was the predominant language spoken in Aotearoa/New Zealand. As more English speakers arrived in New Zealand, the Māori language was increasingly confined to Māori communities. By the mid-20th century there were concerns that the language was dying out.

Major initiatives launched from the 1980s have brought about a revival of te reo. In the early 21st century, over 130,000 people of Māori ethnicity could speak and understand te reo, one of the three official languages of New Zealand (the others are English and New Zealand Sign Language). […]

Literacy and expanded numeracy were two exciting new concepts that Māori took up enthusiastically. Missionaries of the 1820s reported how Māori all over the country taught each other to read and write, using innovative materials, such as leaves and charcoal, carved wood and the cured skins of introduced animals, when there was no paper available. […]

Language figures

In 2006

  • One-quarter of Māori aged 15 to 64 could hold a conversation in te reo
  • Just under half (48.7 per cent) of Māori aged 65 years and over could hold a conversation in te reo […]

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Source: History of the Māori language – Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori | NZHistory, New Zealand history online
Address : http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/maori-language-week/history-of-the-maori-language
Date Visited: Mon Feb 18 2013 09:59:21 GMT+0100 (CET)

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