Te reo Māori remains a crucial cultural asset for Māori and is protected under the Treaty of Waitangi. Te Puni Kōkiri has a lead role in the government’s efforts to support the revitalisation of the Māori language.
We support Māori to protect, sustain and grow their reo, taonga, mātauranga and tikanga. We want more people speaking Māori and for whānau, hapū and iwi to identify and pursue their cultural development priorities.
Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori 2016 – the new Māori Language Act
14 April 2016
Parliament has passed Te Ture mō te Reo Māori 2016 (The Māori Language Act 2016). This act establishes Te Mātāwai to lead revitalisation of te reo Māori on behalf of iwi and Māori.
It is written in te reo Māori and English, with the Māori language text prevailing – a first for the New Zealand legal system.
- Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Act) 2016
- Press Release: Kua whakaaetia te ture reo Māori (Parliament passes historic reo Māori law)
- Watch the Minister for Māori Development speak in Parliament
- Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell looks back on 29 years of the Māori Language Act 1987 and why a new act was needed.
Follow this legislation’s journey through the House of Representatives since its introduction on 3 July 2014.
Te Mātāwai is a new organisation established under Te Ture mō te Reo Māori 2016 (The Māori Language Act 2016) to lead revitalisation of te reo Māori on behalf of iwi and Māori. Te Mātāwai met for the first time on 4-6 October.
Te Mātāwai has 13 members.
- Seven appointed by iwi
- Four appointed by reo tukutuku (Māori language stakeholder) organisations
- Two appointed by the Minister for Māori Development.
Information about the members of Te Mātāwai.
- Questions and Answers about Te Mātāwai [PDF, 114KB]
- Te Mātāwai pamphlet [PDF, 98KB]
- Media Release - First member of Te Mātāwai chosen
- Media Release - Iwi and Te Reo Tukutuku members finalised for Te Mātāwai
- Media Release - Te Mātāwai membership complete
- Media Release - Te Mātāwai announces inaugural leadership [PDF, 116KB]
Te Maihi Karauna – The Māori Language Strategy
The Maihi Karauna will be the Crown’s strategy for te reo Māori and will complement the Maihi Māori, the strategy being developed by Te Mātāwai.
Te Puni Kōkiri, in partnership with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is leading the development of the Maihi Karauna working with other Crown agencies.
It is expected to be released in the first half of 2017.
Maihi Karauna and Maihi Māori
Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori provides for two strategies to guide the future well-being of te reo Māori.
- The Maihi Karauna will be issued by the Minister for Māori Development and focus on national-level matters. The contributions of government departments and agencies to the revitalisation of the Māori language will link to this strategy.
- The Maihi Māori is developed by Te Matawai on behalf of iwi and Māori and will focus on matters for iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori and at the community level.
The Crown and Te Mātāwai are working with each other to ensure that the two strategies complement each other. In particular, the Maihi Karauna needs to ensure that organisations across government are able to support the aspirations of the Maihi Māori.
Māori Language Strategy 2014
Until the Maihi Karauna is approved the current Government Māori Language Strategy, developed in 2014, will stay in effect.
The Māori Language Strategy 2014 outlines the Crown’s approach to supporting the revitalisation of the Māori language. It includes new result areas, indicators and targets, and principles for supporting te reo. It also confirms the roles of government, and proposes legislation for improving the status of the Māori language and revising arrangements for Māori language entities.
Māori-English Bilingual Signage
The Māori-English Bilingual Signage: A guide for best practice is a resource produced by Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to increase and improve bilingual signage throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
The guide is packed full of good tips on how organisations can engage with Māori communities and support te reo Māori to be more visible through signage.
For more information and to download a copy of the guide, go to our Whakamahia section.