[The Case for the Māori Language]

Loading the player...

Tono kōrero mai

The Case for the Māori Language - a radio documentary about the case for increasing the number of people who can speak te reo Māori. Presented by an unidentified male broadcaster [possibly Chris Anderson ?]

Koro Dewes, a linguist at Victoria University and a number of unidentified young people share their views on the benefits of learning Māori.

Historic requests by Māori for their children to be taught in English only are read. Wiremu (Bill) Parker of Victoria University explains why Māori seemed so eager for their children to abandon their mother tongue in the 19th century. Sir Apirana Ngata encouraged this, saying English was the most important subject at school, with Māori being learnt at home.

In the early 1950's the first steps in a organised form were taken to rescue the language from extinction. The group responsible was the newly formed Māori Womens Welfare League. The current Secretary, Mrs. Ruby Grey speaks about the League's efforts.

Bill Parker says Māori did not notice how much the language had slipped out of their lives, until it was nearly gone, but now a turning point has been reached and Māori are looking again at their language and culture.

An excerpt from a report on the language in the education system in 1962 is read. It suggested teaching Māori as a language option. In 1966 25 secondary schools taught it By 1972, 63 schools had taken it up.

Both the Minister of Education and Minister of Maori Affairs are keen to see the language taken up in greater numbers. Comment from both [not identified but probably Hon. Les Gander and Hon. Duncan MacIntyre, respectively.]

The differences in dialect and the differences between classic and modern Māori are discussed by Koro Dewes.

Jim McGregor, principal of Wainuiomata College talks about the success his school has had in introducing te reo as a subject, the wider benefits for Māori students and the response from parents.

Hana Jackson of Ngā Tamatoa says the government could be doing much more to encourage the revival of te reo Māori, introducing the language at primary school level.

Koro Dewes says to save the language it must be spoken at home as well as learnt in schools. He says the quality of the language being spoken has declined.

Favourite item:

Request information

Year 1978

Reference number 44735

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits Dewes, Koro, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Grey, Ruby, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Parker, Wiremu Leonard, 1914-1986, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Te Hemara, Hana, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Gander, Les, Speaker/Kaikōrero
MacIntyre, Duncan, 1915-2001, Speaker/Kaikōrero
McGregor, Jim, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Anderson, Chris, Presenter

Duration 00:31:16

Date 1978