September 20, 2021
Data shows reo speakers more employable
A Māori big data researcher has found employers are increasingly looking for people with te reo Māori skills.
Hinerangi Curtis, from Ōtautahi-based Tokona te Raki Māori Futures Collective, used tools from labour market data specialist Burning Glass to look at job listings from August 2020 to July 2021 and compare them with the previous year.
She says there was a 235 percent increase in listings mentioning te reo, and in Nelson it was a whopping 800 percent – from three jobs advertised to 27.
She says it’s a sign employers are starting to understand tiriti responsibilities.
“I think it’s also a growing value to work with iwi. People are realising iwi are really important stakeholders to work with and that requires a level of cultural competency. That usually means a level of te reo. We are also seeing a lot of government employers asking for te reo to enter those positions to make sure our public servants are ready to push towards a bicultural nation,” Ms Curtis says.
She says it’s a great affirmation for whānau who have put their children through kura and wharekura to know there is not only cultural but economic value in learning te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.