The Health of the Māori Language in Te Upoko o Te Ika/Te Tau Ihu 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 Upoko o Te Ika/Te Tau Ihu 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 Upoko o Te Ika/Te Tau Ihu. The full report is available at www.tpk.govt.nz.</p>

According to the 2006 Census, the Māori language rate for Māori adults in Te Upoko o Te Ika/Te Tau Ihu is 24%, among an adult Māori population of 44,200.

Te Upoko o Te Ika/Te Tau Ihu has the second lowest Māori language rate among the eight regions in the HML Survey. The HML Survey shows that more people can understand the Māori language (31%) than speak it (20%).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 20%, whereas for those people aged fifty-five or over the rate is 35%. 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 in these regions. For example: speaking proficiency has increased slightly from 19% in 2001 to 20% in 2006, and listening proficiency has decreased slightly from 33% in 2001 to 31% in 2006.3

Fifty-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 Upoko o Te Ika and Te Tau Ihu includes the districts encompassed in the Wellington Regional Council in the North Island, and the Nelson and Marlborough Regional Councils in the South Island.

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 Upoko o Te Ika/Te Tau Ihu 2006

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

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