Te Mātāwai was established in 2016 by Te Ture o te reo Māori (Māori Language Act) and works in partnership with the Crown under the public policy framework, Te Whare o te reo Mauriora. Te Mātāwai upholds the framework’s Maihi Māori component.

Te Mātāwai has three main mechanisms:
1. Investment in language initiatives: we support whānau, hapū, iwi and communities to get te reo Māori into homes.
2. Research and evaluation: we provide Māori language revitalisation information, advice, and guidance to support the Board, Pae Motuhake, whānau, hapū, and iwi members to make informed decisions suitable for their respective context; and
3. Strategic Leadership: we look beyond whānau, hapū, community and iwi to see how the public sector and greater Aotearoa can support te reo revitalisation.

Our primary focus will continue to be on kāinga, hapori and iwi. The upcoming years see a particular focus on intergenerational transmission, revitalisation in immersion settings and community-led (kāinga, hapori and iwi) language movements, resulting in strengthed identity, connection and wellbeing through the use and growth of the Māori language. (SOI 2021-2024 p7).

Te Mātāwai plays a significant role in the ongoing journey of Māori Language Revitalisation for the Māori people and Aotearoa collectively. We know there is energy and commitment from our Māori people and those in the Crown space as we enter new stages of language growth and development. We are now in that critical time to effect the necessary long term changes to return the language to a state of vitality. 'Kia ūkaipō anō te reo. (SOI 2021-2024 p7)

Kāinga, hapori and iwi are at the centre of everything we do. This is where language revitalisation happens. For this reason you will see that we have five outcome areas that we intend to make impacts across and two sets of enablers that facilitate and support activity across our kāinga, hapori and iwi.