Early 19th Century
Māori is the predominant language of New Zealand.
Missionaries make the first attempts to write down the Māori language.
Thomas Kendall's A korao (korero) no New Zealand is the first book published in Māori.
A grammar and vocabulary of the language of New Zealand is published. This lays the orthographic foundations of written Māori.
Māori Bibles and prayer books appear.
The first pamphlet printed in New Zealand, a translation into Māori of the Epistles of Paul to the Philippians and to the Ephesians, appears.
The first Māori language newspaper, Ko te Karere o Nui Tireni, is published.
The first edition of Williams’s Māori Dictionary is published.
Sir George Grey’s Ko nga moteatea, me nga hakirara o nga Māori (The songs, chants and poetry of the Māori) is published.
Sir George Grey’s Ko nga mahinga a nga tupuna Māori (The deeds of the Māori ancestors) is published.
The Native Districts Regulation Act 1858 and the Native Circuit Courts Act 1858 are the first Acts of the government printed in Māori.
Parliament’s revised standing orders stipulate that Māori petitions be translated prior to being presented, and that the Governor’s speeches to the New Zealand House of Representatives and bills ‘specially affecting’ Māori be translated and printed in Māori.
The Native Schools Act 1867 decrees that English should be the only language used in the education of Māori children.
Four Māori electorates are established by the Māori Representation Act of 1867.
It is resolved that a ‘simple text-book’ of parliamentary practice be published in Māori, tabled papers be translated and relevant sessional papers also be translated and printed in Māori.
An interpreter is appointed in Parliament.
The first bill (the Native Councils Bill) is translated and printed in Māori.
From the 1880s there are three interpreters in Parliament.
Parliament’s standing orders are printed in Māori.
From 1881 to 1906 a Māori language translation of the New Zealand Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) is produced. This contains Māori and Pākehā members’ speeches on legislation considered particularly relevant to Māori.
Annual series of relevant Acts printed in Māori, to 1910.
Education becomes compulsory for Māori children.
There is a reduction to one interpreter in Parliament.
Ninety percent of Māori school children can speak Māori.
Speaker of the House Frederic W. Lang rules that Māori members of Parliament (MPs) should speak in English if able to.
By the 1920s Māori grammar is taught in only a few private schools.
Sir Āpirana Ngata encourages Māori communities to promote the use of the Māori language in homes and communities, while also promoting English language education for Māori in schools.
The provision of interpreters in Parliament lapses after 1920.
Māori becomes a language unit for the Bachelor of Arts degree in the University of New Zealand (the actual teaching of courses starts at Auckland University in 1951).
Māori remains the predominant language in Māori homes and communities. However, the use of English begins to increase, and some Māori leaders continue to support English-only education.
Māori MPs are permitted to speak briefly in Māori in the House if they provide an immediate interpretation.
Māori urban migration begins. This has an impact upon the use of the Māori language.
William (Wiremu) Leonard Parker is appointed New Zealand’s first Māori news broadcaster.
Māori becomes a School Certificate subject.
Speaker Matthew H. Oram re-imposes Speaker Lang’s ruling of 1913. The ruling is relaxed in the 1960s with Māori MPs permitted to speak briefly in Māori if they provide an immediate interpretation.
Twenty six percent of Māori school children can speak Māori.
Playcentre supporters encourage Māori parents to speak English to prepare Māori children for primary school.
The Publications Branch of the Education Department begins publishing a Māori language journal for use in those schools where Māori is taught.
J. K. Hunn’s report on the Department of Māori Affairs describes the Māori language as a relic of ancient Māori life.
Concerns for the Māori language are expressed by Māori urban groups including Ngā Tamatoa and Te Reo Māori Society.
A petition calling for courses in Māori language and culture to be offered in all New Zealand schools is presented at Parliament.
A national survey shows that approximately 70,000 Māori, or 18-20 percent of Māori, are fluent Māori speakers, and that most of these are elderly.
The first Māori Language Week is held.
Less than 5 percent of Māori school children can speak Māori.
Rūātoki School becomes the first officially bilingual school in New Zealand.
Another petition calling for the establishment of a Māori television production unit within the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation is presented in 1978.
Te Ātaarangi movement is established to restore Māori language knowledge to Māori adults.
Experiments in Māori radio broadcasting lead to the establishment of Te Upoko o te Ika and Radio Ngāti Porou.
During the Māori Language Week a march is held demanding that the Māori language have equal status with English.
A petition calls for Māori to be made an official language of New Zealand.
Te Kōhanga Reo is established to promote the Māori language among Māori pre-schoolers. The number of students using Kōhanga services reaches 14,514 in 1993, but declines to 9,288 by 2009.
The first Māori-owned Māori language radio station (Te Reo-o-Poneke) goes to air.
The first Kura Kaupapa Māori is established to cater for the needs of Māori children emerging from Te Kōhanga Reo.
MPs can speak in English or te reo Māori under Parliament’s standing orders.
The Waitangi Tribunal acknowledges the Māori language as a 'taonga' under Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi and that the Crown has a responsibility for its preservation.
The Māori Language Act 1987 is passed in Parliament. Māori is declared an official language and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) is established.
The ‘Matawaia Declaration’ in which bilingual school communities call for the creation of an independent, statutory Māori education authority to establish Māori control and the autonomy of Kaupapa Māori practices in the education system.
The Education Amendment Act 1989 provides formal recognition for Kura Kaupapa Māori and wānanga (Māori tertiary institutions).
The Government reserves radio and television broadcasting frequencies for use by Māori.
A survey finds 58 percent of non-Māori and 89 percent of Māori agree Māori should survive as a spoken language.
Parliament’s Standing Orders Committee recognises that Parliament needs to develop an interpretation and translation service.
The Māori broadcasting funding agency Te Māngai Pāho is established to promote the Māori language and culture. This follows litigation by the New Zealand Māori Council and Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau i te Reo Māori.
More than 20 iwi radio stations broadcast throughout New Zealand.
Peter Tapsell becomes the first Māori Speaker.
With the introduction of the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system the law is changed so that the number of Māori electorates depends, in part, on the choices made by Māori in the Māori electoral option.
New Zealand passports start using te reo Māori on the inside pages, and on the cover from 2009.
He Taonga Te Reo (Māori language year) is celebrated. Hui Taumata Reo Māori is held in Wellington.
A survey shows that about 10,000 Māori adults are very fluent speakers of Māori.
The census form is released in te reo Māori.
The Aotearoa Māori Television Network broadcasts in the Auckland area (the Network ceases operating in 1997).
The Cabinet agrees that the Crown and Māori have a duty, derived from the Treaty of Waitangi, to take all reasonable steps to actively enable the survival of Māori as a living language.
Speaker Doug L. Kidd rules that MPs speaking in Māori do so as of right and an interpreter is provided.
The Government announces funding for a Māori television channel and increased funding for Te Māngai Pāho.
The Government announces objectives and monitoring indicators for its Māori Language Strategy. The goals are:
To increase the number of people who know the Māori language by increasing their opportunities to learn Māori;
To improve the proficiency levels of people in speaking Māori, reading Māori, and writing Māori;
To increase the opportunities to use Māori by increasing the number of situations where Māori can be used;
To increase the rate at which the Māori language develops so that it can be used for the full range of modern activities;
To foster amongst Māori and non-Māori positive attitudes towards, and accurate beliefs and positive values about, the Māori language so that Māori-English bilingualism becomes a valued part of New Zealand society.
A contract interpreter is available for duties in Parliament’s Chamber.
A simultaneous interpretation service in Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga (Māori Affairs Committee Room) is introduced.
The Cabinet agrees that the establishment of a Māori television channel is a Government priority within the Māori broadcasting policy area.
A survey of attitudes toward the Māori language finds that 94 percent of Māori and 90 percent of non-Māori believe it is good for Māori people to speak Māori on the marae and at home. Another 68 percent of Māori (40 percent of non-Māori) believe it is good for Māori to speak Māori in public places or at work.
The 2001 Survey on the Health of the Māori Language indicates that nine percent of Māori adults can speak Māori ‘very well’ or ‘well’. In 2006, 14 percent of Māori adults indicate that they can speak Māori ‘very well’ or ‘well’.
Mā te Reo Fund is established to support Māori language growth in communities.
‘Te Tangata Whai Rawa o Wēniti’ (the Māori language movie version of the ‘Merchant of Venice’) is released.
The revised Government Māori Language Strategy is released. The goals to be achieved by 2028 are:
The majority of Māori will be able to speak Māori to some extent and proficiency levels in speaking, listening to, reading and writing Māori will increase.
Māori language use will be increased at marae, within Māori households, and other targeted domains.
All Māori and other New Zealanders will have enhanced access to high-quality Māori language education.
Iwi, hapū and local communities will be the leading parties in ensuring local-level language revitalisation. Iwi dialects of the Māori language will be supported.
The Māori language will be valued by all New Zealanders, and there will be a common awareness of the need to protect the language.
The Māori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) Act is passed in Parliament.
The Māori Television Service begins broadcasting. In April 2010 the Māori channel achieves its best ratings to date with a monthly cumulative audience of 2,013,600 unique viewers.
Inaugural Māori Language Week Awards held in Wellington.
Permanent full-time position for Kaiwhakamārama Reo for interpretation, transcription and translation service in Parliament. There are three interpreters.
The MAONZE Project studying the pronunciation of te reo Māori starts.
The Māori Language Commission launches the interactive ‘Kōrero Māori’ website http://www.koreromaori.co.nz/
Microsoft Office and Windows in te reo Māori are launched.
According to Statistics New Zealand in 2006:
131,613 (23.7 percent) of Māori can converse about everyday things in te reo Māori, an increase of 1,128 people from the 2001 Census.
One-quarter of Māori aged 15 to 64 years can hold a conversation in te reo Māori.
Just under half (48.7 percent) of Māori aged 65 years and over can hold a conversation in te reo Māori.
More than one in six Māori (35,148 people) aged under 15 years can hold a conversation in te reo Māori.
A survey of attitudes toward the Māori language finds that 98 percent of Māori and 96 percent of non-Māori believe it is good for Māori people to speak Māori on the marae and at home. Another 94 percent of Māori (80 percent of non-Māori) believe it is good for Māori to speak Māori in public places or at work.
The second Māori Television channel, Te Reo, is launched.
Google Māori, the Māori interface of online search engine Google, is launched.
The first monolingual Māori dictionary is launched by the Māori Language Commission.
An independent panel, Te Kāhui o Māhutonga, completes a review of the Māori Television Service Act (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) 2003.
Research completed for a media use survey indicates that Māori are more likely than non-Māori to have reported having watched, listened to and/or read something in Māori and/or about Māori language or culture (96 percent compared with 71 percent non-Māori) and to have done so in the last two weeks (88 percent compared with 51 percent). They also are more likely to have done this on a daily basis (25 percent compared with 6 percent).
Common te reo Māori words are recognised in the predictive text message function and auto voice dialling on certain Telecom handsets.
A fourth interpreter is appointed in Parliament.
There are 28,231 students in Māori-medium education with 394 schools offering this.
Simultaneous interpretation of te reo Māori into English becomes available in the House and galleries, and on Parliament Television.
Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law announces the completion of the Legal Māori Corpus and the Legal Māori lexicon.
The Minister of Māori Affairs announces a review of the Māori Language Strategy and sector.
The Waitangi Tribunal finds that te reo Māori is approaching a crisis point, and that urgent and far reaching change is required to save it.
Fraser, Bryce (editor). The New Zealand Book of Events. Reed Methuen Publishers, Auckland, 1986.
Māori Language Commission. ‘A History of the Māori Language’. Available from http://www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz/english/issues_e/hist/index.shtml
Māori Language Commission. ‘Kōrero Māori'. Available from http://www.korero.maori.nz/home.html
Māori Television. Available from http://media.maoritelevision.com/Default.aspx?tabid=113
Martin, John E. The House – New Zealand’s House of Representatives 1854-2004. Dunmore Press Ltd, Palmerston North, 2004.
New Zealand History Online. ‘History of the Māori Language – Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori’. Available from http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/maori-language-week/history-of-the-maori-language
Parkinson, Phil. “Strangers in the house”: The Māori Language in government and the Māori Language in Parliament 1865-1900’, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 32 (3), August 2001.
Parliamentary Library. ‘Te Reo Māori - the Māori Language Part 1: Overview, Government Funding, Broadcasting, Overseas Comparisons’, Background Note, 2000/4, 14 March 2000. Available from http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/7C98C7EE-4175-41F5-9576-87AB4ED03419/428/004TeReo3.pdf
Statistics New Zealand. ‘Quick Stats About Māori’, 27 March 2007. Available from http://www.stats.govt.nz/census/2006censushomepage/quickstats/quickstats-about-a-subject/maori.aspx
Te Ātaarangi. Available from http://www.teataarangi.org.nz/
Te Māngai Pāho. ‘Chronology of Events’. Available from http://www.tmp.govt.nz/about/events.html
Te Puni Kōkiri. Fact Sheet 27: Attitudes Toward The Māori Language, July 2006. Available from http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-print/our-publications/fact-sheets/attitudes-toward-the-maori-language/download/tpk-attitudereo-2006.en.pdf
Te Puni Kōkiri. Fact Sheet: The Māori Language Survey Factsheet, July 2007. Available from http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-print/our-publications/fact-sheets/the-maori-language-survey-factsheet/download/tpk-maorilang-2007-en.pdf
Te Puni Kōkiri. ‘In Focus: Māori Language’. Available from http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-focus/te-reo
Te Puni Kōkiri. The Māori Language Strategy, 2003. Available from http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-print/our-publications/publications/the-maori-language-strategy
Te Puni Kōkiri. Te Oranga o te Reo Māori 2006 –Māori. Available from http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-print/our-publications/publications/the-health-of-the-maori-language-in-2006/download/tpk-2008-health-maori-language-2006.pdf
Te Puni Kōkiri. Use of Broadcasting and e-Media, Māori Language and Culture, January 2010. Available from http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-print/our-publications/fact-sheets/use-of-broadcasting-and-e-media-maori-language-and-culture/download/tpk-broadcast-factsheet-en-2010.pdf
Waitangi Tribunal. ‘Indigenous Flora and Fauna and Cultural Intellectual Property Report Summary’. Pre-publication format, 2010. Available from http://www.waitangitribunal.govt.nz/reports/summary.asp?reportid=%7bBF981901-5B55-441C-A93E-8E84B67B76E9%7d
Waitangi Tribunal. ‘Report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the Te Reo Māori Claim’, April 1986. Available from http://www.waitangitribunal.govt.nz/reports/viewchapter.asp?reportID=6113B0B0-13B5-400A-AFC7-76F76D3DDD92&chapter=1
Walker, Ranginui. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou – Struggle Without End. Penguin Books, Auckland, 2004.
Williams, Herbert W. A Dictionary of the Māori Language, 6th Edition. Government Printer, Wellington, 1957. Available from http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WillDict.html
For more information contact Ext 9204
|Disclaimer. Every effort has been made to ensure that the content of this newsletter is accurate, but no guarantee of accuracy can be given.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence. In essence, you are free to copy, distribute and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to the Parliamentary Library and abide by the other licence terms. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/nz/.