Summary sheet of the 2009 Māori Language Attitudes Survey

Language and Attitudes

The Māori language is the heritage language of the Māori people and an official language of New Zealand. The health of the Māori language declined significantly over the course of the 20th century. By the 1970s, it was recognised that the survival of the Māori language as a language of everyday communication was under threat because of its declining use within families. Since then, Māori groups and communities have developed a range of initiatives to increase the health of the Māori language. The Government has responded to these efforts with funding, policies and programmes designed to support Māori aspirations for their language.

Language health is directly affected by the attitudes of both speakers and non-speakers. Negative attitudes create disincentives for speakers and potential speakers to use a language. On the other hand, positive attitudes typically support learning and use of a language.

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