Maori lan­guage in cri­sis

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

aren’t and even many English speak­ing na­tions are tak­ing steps to be­come multi-lin­gual.’’ Wales is a good ex­am­ple, she says. ‘‘You can do your en­tire ed­u­ca­tion in Welsh. Why shouldn’t we be able to do that here? That’s what gets you the crit­i­cal mass of peo­ple for a lan­guage to thrive.

‘‘Wouldn’t it be fan­tas­tic if every­one could speak English, te reo Maori and an­other lan­guage of their choice?’’

New­ton Cen­tral School prin­ci­pal Hoana Pear­son says for Maori to flour­ish it needs to be nor­malised in ev­ery­day lan­guage.

Twenty eth­nic groups are rep­re­sented at the pri­mary school and ev­ery child can speak some Maori, she says.

The school has to­tal im­mer­sion and bilin­gual units.

The achieve­ment lev­els of the ma­jor­ity of stu­dents who are en­rolled in the Maori lan­guage path­ways at New­ton Cen­tral School are equal or bet­ter than their peers in main­stream classes, she says.

‘‘It’s crit­i­cal that every­one learn Maori. Learn­ing an­other lan­guage is en­hanc­ing for ev­ery­body, par­tic­u­larly te reo which is deeply con­nected to this land and its peo­ple.’’

Photo: KA­RINA ABADIA

Ac­tion needed: Comet Auck­land CEO Susan Warren says the gov­ern­ment should do more to en­sure Maori lan­guage is pre­served.

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