April 14, 2016
Kahungunu tackles language loss
Ngati Kahungunu is calling in the emergency services as it seeks to arrest the decline of te reo Maori.
It is holding a language symposium today and tomorrow in Hastings involving language revival experts from Hawaii, Israel and Aotearoa.
The iwi’s director of te reo and tikanga, Jeremy Tatere McLeod, says the old message of love the language, speak the language clearly isn’t working, because the number of speakers dwindles by the day.
"The percentages of proficient speakers doesn't indicate a language that is thriving or a living language. That's why we use that CPI terminology. We're pulling out everything, we're pulling out everything, we're pulling out the defibrillator, we're pulling out everything we can to try to re-energise our people and make our people realise that the language will inevitably die if we do not take urgent action," he says.
Jeremy Tatere McLeod says the loss of native speakers is matched by the dwindling numbers in kohanga reo and going on to kura kaupapa Maori.
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