July 05, 2016
Reo marker of national identity
Data from the Growing Up in New Zealand study indicate use of te reo Maori is common among New Zealand preschool children.
The longitudinal study of more than 6000 children found 28 percent of four years olds sometimes or often greeted or farewelled people in Maori.
43 percent of children sometimes or often spoke simple words in te reo Maori, and 38 percent recognised or responded to simple or spoken words in te reo.
Dr Te Kani Kingi, the study’s Maori expert advisor, says the results are encouraging given the data reflects te reo use by all children in the study, Maori and non-Maori.
He says the implications are that te reo Maori is used more frequently than previously documented and it is a positive marker of national identity.
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