The Health of the Māori Language in Te Tairāwhiti / Takitimu 2006

Māori Language Knowledge and Proficiency

<p>The Health of the Māori Language in Te Tairāwhiti/Tākitimu 2006 </p> <p>This fact sheet provides a summary of the main findings of ‘The Health of the Māori Language in Te Tairāwhiti/Tākitimu 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 Tairāwhiti/ Tākitimu. The full report is available at</p>

According to the 2006 Census, the Māori language rate for Māori adults in Te Tairāwhiti/Tākitimu is 30%, among an adult Māori population of 40,000.

Te Tairāwhiti/Tākitimu has the third highest Māori language rate among the eight regions in the HML Survey. The HML Survey shows that more people can understand the Māori language (47%) 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 24%, whereas for those people aged fifty-five or over the rate is 43%. 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 proficiency levels within the Māori population. for example: speaking proficiency has decreased slightly from 30% in 2001 to 29% in 2006, and listening proficiency has increased from 44% in 2001 to 47% in 2006.3

Sixty-eight 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 Tairāwhiti includes the Gisborne regional council area and Tākitimu includes the Hawkes Bay regional council area and the Wairarapa district.
2 For more detailed data, refer to the full report.
3 Amongst Māori adults who can speak Māori fairly well, well or very well.

Table of contents

The Health of the Māori Language in Te Tairāwhiti / Takitimu 2006

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

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