January 24, 2014
Time to take stock of te reo
The Maori language commissioner says it’s time for a stock take on the state of te reo Maori.
Te Taura Whiri is setting up a new research centre, He Puna Whakarauora, to instigate and coordinate research.
Money for the centre was set aside in the last budget, and it will work with universities and other bodies to make the most effective use of funds available to the sector.
Erima Henare says the last comprehensive view of the health of the Maori language was done by Richard Benton for the Council for Education Research back in the 1970s.
" Today a lot of people say the lanuguage is alive but when you go to the marae theres only one or two people speaking. There are more people saying 'kia ora' but less and less people at the top end of the language. So I think its time to take a stock take on where the language is at this time, given that theres been a lot of money poured in to te reo Maori in the last 10 years and the last census indicated that the number of speakers is falling " he says
Erima Henare says the research can help to better target the $400 million a year spent on the language.
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