Topic: Te Reo Māori

Kiwi kids to shape future of te reo Māori

By Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters

Almost 7,000 Kiwi kids are providing a picture to help shape the future of te reo Māori.

The children are a part of a study called Growing Up in New Zealand that is being conducted by the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health.

The internationally recognised study collects detailed information from the children and their families from before birth until the kids are 21-years-old.

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi is leading the culture and identity fields of the study.

Lead researcher from the Wānanga, Te Kani Kingi, says the resource will help develop policies for Māori language retention and revitalisation.

Kingi says, “It will provide us with a real opportunity to know why people with tamariki and why parents are encouraging their children to learn te reo Māori.  What the reasons for that are, what the opportunities are, and how we, as a wānanga which is built on our reo and tīkanga, can help support our whanau and communities.”

Director of the Growing up in New Zealand study, Susan Morton, says, “Te reo Māori isn’t something that Māori are just enthusiastic about, it’s actually something for our entire nation.”

Morton says it is really critical that the research team understands what is shaping the development of Kiwi kids growing up in New Zealand today.

Preliminary results of the study will be revealed as Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi launch their te reo Māori strategy this week.