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.
The Māori Language Act 2016
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.
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 meets 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]
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.
Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill Activity
The Minister for Māori Development anticipates to have this Bill enacted as law in early 2016.
7 April 2016
The bill passes its committee stages in Parliament.
The Minister for Māori Development moves an amendment to acknowledge that the Crown’s past policies and practices concerning the Māori language have had a detrimental effect on generations of iwi and Māori.
9 March 2016
The bill passes its second reading in Parliament.
Watch the Minister’s second reading speech in Parliament
The Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill and Te Mātāwai – Video
In Māori with English slides
The Māori Affairs Committee reported the bill back to Parliament on February 26.
The bill now incorporates the changes agreed to by Cabinet in October 2015. It is the first bill in Māori and English where the Māori will prevail in Court.
- Media Background information
- The Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
Te Puni Kōkiri begins working with iwi Māori and Reo Tukutuku (Māori Language Stakeholder) groups to bring the process of selecting members for Te Mātāwai – a new statutory organisation established under the bill to lead the Māori and iwi work in te reo revitalisation.
On 19 October 2015, Cabinet agreed to the Minister for Māori Development’s changes to the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill:
- Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill Regulatory Impact Statement [PDF, 1.5MB]
- Cabinet Minute - Adjustments to the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill [PDF, 169KB]
The Māori Affairs Committee will present its report on the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill to the House of Representatives by 26 February 2016.
The Ministerial Advisory Group held public consultation hui around the motu to present its proposal on the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill. Feedback received during the consultation was considered before submitting its final report to the Minister for Māori Development on 30 June 2015.
- Māori Language Advisory Group Final Report (English) [PDF, 4.6MB]
- Māori Language Advisory Group Final Report (Māori) [PDF, 4.3MB]
- Review a summary of the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill and the Māori Language Advisory Group Draft Proposal [PDF, 181KB]
- Frequently Asked Questions [PDF, xxKB]
- Te Whare o te Reo Mauriora [PDF, 762KB]
Te Whare o te Reo Mauriora - Video (English)
Te Whare o te Reo Mauriora – Video (Te Reo Māori)
The Minister for Māori Development, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell, announced the appointment of a new Ministerial Advisory Group to provide independent and expert advice on the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill.
- Minister’s Media Release
- Ministerial Māori Language Advisory Group members [PDF, 365KB]
- Ministerial Māori Language Advisory Group terms of reference
The Māori Affairs Select Committee invited public submissions on the bill. The closing date for those submissions was Friday 5 December 2014.
24 July 2014
The Bill received its first reading in the House of Representatives on 24 July 2014 and was referred to the Māori Affairs Committee for consideration.
3 July 2014
The Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on 3 July 2014.
The Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill seeks legislative changes to update and strengthen the Māori Language Act in relation to:
- recognition of Māori language;
- the establishment, roles, functions, powers and membership of a new independent statutory entity to be known as Te Mātāwai;
- the transfer of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and Te Māngai Pāho from the Crown to Te Mātāwai;
- the roles, functions, powers, and membership of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Te Māngai Pāho, and the board of the Māori Television Service;
- the transferral of the roles, functions and powers of Te Pūtahi Paoho to Te Mātāwai;
- the disestablishment of Te Pūtahi Paoho; and
- consequential amendments to other enactments.
Māori Language Strategy
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.