This research project explores the motivations and barriers that Māori whānau face to Māori language acquisition and use of Māori heritage language by learners and speakers. The research uses a Kaupapa Māori approach aligned to existing research (e.g. ZePA) and mixed research methods. 

The objective of this research was to highlight aspects of the decisions that pre-learners, active learners, and active users of te reo Māori make that impact their Māori language engagement and use. The research also explores the aspects of Māori lives that inhibited the acquisition and use of te reo Māori across a range of areas.

This study confirmed that the process of language learning requires a considerable amount of courage, determination, and persistence, as well as social, emotional, cultural, and linguistic support if the individual is to achieve their desired language outcomes. Ways in which Māori heritage language learners can be supported to engage with and use te reo Māori to high degrees of competency are provided in this report.

Publishing date: July 2019

Authors: Awanui Te Huia, Tai Ahu, Maureen Muller, Ririwai Fox

Prepared by the Victoria University of Wellington Research Trust, and its research team at Te Kawa a Māui, for Te Mātāwai.

Download Manawa ū ki te reo Māori Report [PDF, 1.8 MB]