The Health of the Māori Language in Te Taihauāuru 2006

Māori Language Use

International research on language revitalisation suggests that for minority languages like Māori to survive, intergenerational transmission is required.

Māori speakers are clustered together and are not spread evenly throughout the Māori population. Thirty-three percent of Māori households in Te Taihauāuru have at least one Māori language speaker. In nearly half of these households there is only one speaker, limiting the possibility of language use in the home.

Twenty-seven percent of children or dependants live in households where there is at least one adult speaker of te reo, meaning that acquisition through intergenerational transmission is possible.

For people with Māori language skills, use of te reo Māori in the home has increased since 2001, especially in communications between Māori adults and their children and their parents. for example: Māori language interactions between adults and their pre-school children have increased from 69% in 2001 to 72% in 2006; Māori language interactions between adults and their primary school-aged children have increased from 63% in 2001 to 67% in 2006; and, Māori language interactions between adults and their parents have increased from 41% in 2001 to 59% in 2006.4 Whilst this is a positive indicator of the occurrence of intergenerational transmission, communication patterns in the home have not yet reached a level where the Māori language is considered the primary means of communication.

The use of the Māori language in the community remains most common in Māori cultural domains such as in hui or on the marae. The Māori language is not the primary means of communication in other everyday activities within the community setting.

Māori Language Competencies by Age

Māori Language Competencies by Age
Age grouping No. of people with Māori
language competencies
Total
population size
Māori
language rate
Proportion of all Māori
with Māori language
competencies
0-14 3066 17472 18 27%
15-34 3798 15450 25% 34%
35-54 2721 10830 25% 24%
55+ 1716 4731 36% 15%

Source: Census 2006.

 

4 These percentages combine the percentage of Māori adults who used the Māori language as a significant language of communication and the percentage of Māori adults who made some use of the Māori language in their interactions.

Māori Language Use by Māori Adults in the Home

Line graph of usage of te reo in the home by Parents, Spouse, Preschool children, Primary school children, Secondary school children, Other adults

Source: HML 2001 Survey, HML 2006 Survey.

Table of contents

The Health of the Māori Language in Te Taihauāuru 2006

  1. Māori Language Knowledge and Proficiency
  2. Māori Language Use
  3. Provision of Māori Language Services
  4. Conclusions

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