Appendix 4: Case studies

Implementing the Māori Language Strategy.

The following two case studies illustrate the activities being carried out by agencies in two of the 10 areas where the Government has a responsibility to support Māori language revitalisation - whānau language development and community language planning.

Case study one: Whānau language development
The Strategy approved by Cabinet in July 2003 identified eight areas in which the Government was already carrying out Māori language revitalisation activities. In October 2003, Cabinet approved two "new" areas, one of which was support for whānau language development. (The other new area was community language planning.)

Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) research, The Use of Māori in the Family (2002), has noted "that whānau language transmission is the cornerstone of successful language revitalisation and growth" (page 11). The research notes that central to this transmission is the regular exposure of children to the language in natural circumstances, which results in normalisation of language use as they "accept the language as an ordinary part of domestic and community life" (page 22).

Government support for whānau language development aims to encourage Māori language use in the home by providing information and advice to Māori families through a network of mentors. Whānau language development links to the Strategy goals of strengthening language use and strengthening language skills.

TPK contracted an education trust to design and operate a pilot programme in whānau language development, and then to design a national implementation plan. TPK then contracted this provider to deliver the mentoring services. Ten mentors have been recruited and trained to provide advice and strategies for increasing Māori language use in the home. The mentors will work with a minimum of 100 self-identifying families.

TPK has commissioned an independent provider to develop evaluation tools for the programme. The intention is that evaluations of the programme will contribute to the 2008/09 Strategy review and, depending on the results of the evaluations, will be used to support ongoing implementation of whānau language development after 2008.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori - the Māori Language Commission (Te Taura Whiri) has also done some small-scale projects relating to whānau language development, such as creating and distributing kōrero Māori information kits for parents and funding whānau language plans through the Mā Te Reo fund.

Case study two: Community language planning
Community language plans usually map the current state of the language, the community’s goals for the language, and the activities they do to reach those goals.

One of the Government’s roles under the Strategy is to support community language planning by providing funding and advice to communities that want to revitalise the Māori language in their area through a community language plan. The planning and implementation of this role was given to Te Taura Whiri.

The Government supported community language planning before 2003, through the Mā Te Reo fund (administered by Te Taura Whiri), the Community Based Language Initiative (administered by the Ministry of Education), and the Capacity Building Programme that is now part of the Māori Potential Approach (administered by TPK).

The Mā Te Reo fund, created in 2000, supports projects, programmes, and activities that contribute to local-level Māori language regeneration. The fund was worth $15 million in 2000. Up to $1.8 million (GST-inclusive) each year has been given to Māori communities to support their language projects. As at 1 February 2006, the fund had about $8 million remaining.

The Community Based Language Initiative aims to support the development of Māori language teaching, learning materials, and the language skills of adults and caregivers with children in Māori immersion education or learning Māori. Community Based Language Initiative funding is offered to iwi, not to individuals or whānau. Iwi involved in a Community Based Language Initiative carry out three phases − environmental and resource scanning, planning and developing initiatives, and implementation and evaluation of the initiatives.

Eight iwi were accepted into the initial round of funding in 2001, and four of these iwi completed the full programme. The current round of funding (the second round) includes more structured support from the Ministry of Education, intended to reduce the attrition rate during the programme. For example, the Ministry assists iwi to assess whether they have the right people with the right skills available to do what they want to do. If not, the Ministry and TPK staff can work with the iwi to improve skills or find other ways to implement the iwi’s community language plan. Examples of initiatives that iwi could carry out with Community Based Language Initiative funding include collecting oral histories, creating iwi-based dictionaries, and holding kōrero groups.

TPK’s Māori Potential Approach aims to strengthen the ability of Māori organisations and communities to build the strategies, systems, and skills needed to control their own development and meet their own objectives. Accordingly, some community language planning activities have received funding from TPK.

Both Mā Te Reo and the Community Based Language Initiative fund are overseen by joint-agency committees, with representation from the Ministry of Education, TPK, and Te Taura Whiri. The Mā Te Reo advisory group also includes representatives from Te Māngai Pāho -the Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency, and the community.

Before 2006, the different funds available for community language planning had not been formally co-ordinated, although there was often common membership of the joint-agency committees. The three agencies who administer the community language development funds were, at the time of our audit, working to co-ordinate the programmes better, and to make sure that potential applicants received information about all funding available so they could apply to the most appropriate fund given the stage and size of their project. For example, the Ministry of Education might advise iwi who have participated in the Community Based Language Initiative and create a plan to apply to the Mā Te Reo fund for funds to continue to implement their plans.

Te Taura Whiri and the Ministry of Education were also planning an exercise to compare the processes and priorities of the funds, and to do further work on identifying and measuring community outcomes.

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