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Conclusion

Tirohia tēnei whārangi i te reo Māori

From the middle of last century, the use of te reo Māori declined so that many feared the language would die completely. Today, a range of strategies and policies are in place that aim to protect and revitalise the language.

Te Kupenga gave us the chance to explore te reo Māori proficiency and use in depth. It enabled us to look at te reo information with a range of other social, cultural, and economic measures to give a picture of the factors associated with te reo ability and use.

Results from the survey showed a relationship between the ability to speak te reo Māori and its use inside and outside the home. Those who are able to speak te reo fairly well or better are more likely to use it. However, the ability to speak te reo well does not account for all the variation in the use of the language.

Significant relationships exist between the ability to speak te reo Māori and education measures, particularly enrolment in Māori-medium education. Whānau measures, such as having children in the household, are strongly associated with greater use of the language in the home.

This analysis also showed a strong relationship between the ability in and use of te reo Māori and other aspects of Māori culture including:

  • the first language learnt as a child and still understood
  • knowledge of pepeha (Māori tribal identity)
  • participation in modern cultural practices.

The strength of these relationships is further evidence of te reo being an integral component of Māori culture and identity.

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