Appendix 2: The roles of Māori in leading Māori language revitalisation

Implementing the Māori Language Strategy.

The Māori Language Strategy identifies the roles played by Māori in revitalising the language as:

Both Māori and Government have ongoing roles to play to secure the future of the Māori language. Within the vision for the future of the Māori language, both parties must understand their respective roles and functions to facilitate coordination and co-operation.

Through discussions with Māori and community consultations, several roles for Māori were identified and discussed. Māori are already fulfilling these roles in many ways. These roles include:

  • Whānau Language Transmission. Māori have the primary responsibility for Māori language transmission within Māori homes and communities, as the caregivers and first educators of new generations. It is the cornerstone of successful language revitalisation, and it is something that only Māori can do.
  • Māori Language Use in Māori Domains. Māori are responsible for Māori language use in Māori domains (for example, marae and kapa haka). Māori can develop tikanga to support the increased use of the Māori language in these domains.
  • Leading Local Language Revitalisation. Whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori will drive the revitalisation of the Māori language at a community level. These groups can develop and implement their own language plans that reflect their aspirations for the Māori language.
  • Maintaining Tribal Dialects. Māori will lead ongoing work to record, collate, analyse, and transmit the unique aspects of tribal speech to new generations.
  • Supporting the Paepae. Marae are focal points of many Māori communities where whānau, hapū, and iwi grieve, celebrate, and renew their whakapapa links. The Māori language is an intrinsic feature of the ceremonial aspects of marae life, including karanga, whaikōrero, waiata, and karakia. Māori are responsible for maintaining and supporting these paepae functions.

Source: Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (2003), Te Rautaki Reo Māori - The Māori Language Strategy, the Ministry of Māori Development, Wellington, page 29.

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