The health and use of te reo Māori in homes and communities is the focus of a research project set to get underway today.
24 researchers will gather in Wellington prior to heading out to a number of regions across the country to gather information for the project, ‘Te Ahu o Te Reo.’
Eight areas will be focused on and were selected based on the population of Māori speakers, communities actively involved in language revitalisation and includes areas with a diverse urban Māori population.
The regions included in the study are Ruatoki, Te Tai Tokerau, Taranaki, West Auckland, South Auckland, Wairoa, Christchurch and Tauranga.
The New Zealand Council for Education Research (NZCER) and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori will use the research to build on a Māori language survey conducted by Richard and Nena Benton in 1970 which highlighted the perilous state of the Māori language at the time.
According to the NZCER the project “aims to assess how selected households and communities are working towards re-establishing te reo Māori as a living language and a normal means of communication in daily life.”
The research plans to explore how often te reo Māori is used, who is using it, what it is being used for and will also look into what further support is needed.
The results will be used to help inform funding and the delivery of Māori language programmes to help achieve the best results for the language.