November 14, 2012
Australian census shows reo speakers moving
A researcher on Māori migration says the shift of Māori to Australia could have a negative long term effect on the survival of Te Reo Māori.
Paul Hamer from Victoria University says the 2011 census shows the number of Māori living across the Tasman had a 38 percent rise over the past five years to 128,000.
The number of reo speakers also rose, but many were tamariki, indicating that many of the new migrants are young Māori-speaking parents.
"It could indicate this last crop of migrants in the last five years have had a greater desire to speak Te Reo in the home in Australia than previous cohorts have but I think probably more than anything it reflects the likelihood that more speakers are leaving than used to which is something Te Reo in New Zealand will find difficult to deal with," Mr Hamer says.
He says many Māori go to Australia intending to come back, but higher wages and the life choices made by their children mean they end up staying.
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