The Health of the Maori Language in Te Taitokerau 2006

Māori Language Knowledge and Proficiency

<p>This fact sheet provides a summary of the main findings of ‘The Health of the Māori Language in Te Taitokerau 2006’ report.<sup>1</sup></p> <p>This report draws on a variety of research to provide a composite picture of the Māori language in the region; including: Census data; Health of the Māori Language (HML) survey data; education statistics; observations from national research; and information from language planners and community representatives working in Te Taitokerau. The full report is available at</p>

According to the 2006 Census, the Māori language rate for Māori adults in Te Taitokerau is 32%, among an adult Māori population of 27,900.

Te Taitokerau has the second highest Māori language rate among the eight regions in the HML Survey. The HML Survey shows that more people can understand the Māori language (46%) than speak it (29%).2

There are significant differences in the proportion of Māori language speakers across age groups. For those people aged up to fifty-five, the Māori speaking rate is 25%, whereas for those people aged fifty-five or over the rate is 51%. However, the population of Māori speakers aged over fifty-five is small compared to the population in younger age bands. Older speakers are also more proficient in the Māori language than young adult speakers.

Since 2001, there have been marginal shifts in Māori language proficiencies within the Māori population in the region. For example: speaking proficiency has decreased slightly from 32% in 2001 to 29% in 2006, and listening proficiency has decreased slightly from 47% in 2001 to 46% in 2006.3

Fifty-one percent of Māori adults are dissatisfied with their level of proficiency in the Māori language and desire to increase their language skill levels.


1 For our reporting purposes, Te Taitokerau is defined as the Northland region encompassing the Far North, Whāngarei and Kaipara District Councils.
2 For more detailed data, refer to the full report.
3 Amongst Māori adults who can speak Māori fairly well, well or very well.

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