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Media release: Cohesive policy could better support te reo Māori in kura and schools

Government policy to support te reo Māori in kura and schools has lacked cohesion and has yet to address the shortage of reo Māori teachers. This includes teachers of the language and those able to teach in te reo Māori.

These are findings from research by Te Wāhanga-NZCER exploring what supports the wellbeing of te reo in kura and schools. The research report is called Tautokona te reo: The wellbeing of te reo Māori in kura and schools.

Lead author, Dr Maraea Hunia, said ‘Whānau told us that “wellbeing” included te reo Māori being valued, normal, and used across generations by an increasing number of highly proficient speakers in a wide range of contexts.’

Participants felt that government policy could be more supportive because reo Māori education remains hard to access. In the absence of focussed policy, whānau efforts have been the mainstay of support. Indeed, some policies not directly related to te reo Māori—including the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga—had unintended impacts on the language.

‘An audit of policies that examines their effects on te reo Māori would provide a way forward,’ said Dr Hunia.

As well as looking at research participants’ views of government policy, the study explored kura and schools’ actions and practices that support te reo, and explored ways that they work with stakeholders to support the wellbeing of te reo Māori.

 ‘The report includes tools for whānau, teachers, boards of trustees, and policy makers because we want to share the good things that are happening in kura and schools,’ said Dr Hunia.

See the report on the NZCER website:


Contact NZCER Communications manager Dinah Vincent

Ph: 04 802 1467

Mob: 021 0273 8188

11 September 2018