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Survey on compulsory Māori language education

Research NZ survey on compulsory Māori language education

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori role as outlined in The Māori Language Act 1987 is to support Māori language revitalisation efforts, promote and preserve the integrity of the language and provide advice to the Minister and wider public sector on language issues as required.

A recent survey conducted by Research NZ has found that 38% of New Zealanders support compulsory Māori language education in schools.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori is buoyed by the statistic, and believes it shows a maturing of attitudes and acceptance of wider NZ society of Māori language concerns and issues.

“Certainly a statistic like this would not have been achieved thirty to forty years ago”, says Chief Executive, Glenis Philip-Barbara.

“We are clear however, that 38% still represents a significant minority of the population, and there is still much work to be done”, says Glenis Philip-Barbara.

“We encourage robust debate on this point, and are also heartened that the majority of the positive support for compulsory Māori language education (i.e.50%) comes from the 15-34 age group”, says Glenis Philip-Barbara.

While it would be ideal to have the Māori language learned by all students in all schools one day, on a practical level there is a concern about whether the education system could meet the demand associated with making Māori language compulsory in schools. As it is, there are not enough Māori language teachers to meet current demands, and making a move such as this would seem shortsighted in that context.


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