New Zealand History

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Te Mana O Te Reo Māori

November 16th, 2020


Today, te reo Māori is recognised as an important part of New Zealand culture and identity. But things were not always so hopeful for the language. By the 1970s, te reo Māori was on the verge of extinction. The long journey of revitalisation has been marked with many challenges and many victories.

Part of the journey was taking Wai 11, the te reo Māori claim, to the Waitangi Tribunal. The resulting report confirmed te reo Māori was a taonga the Crown had to actively protect and contributed to te reo Māori being made an official language in 1987.

Te reo Māori champions Piripi Walker and Justice Joe Williams speak about their own journeys in language revitalisation and the wider movement across the country. A facilitated discussion with Dr Vincent Olsen-Reeder follows.

This talk is in support of the new Te Mana O Te Reo Māori online story, part of Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories, a programme initiated by Manatū Taonga which aims to enhance understanding of the past by exploring Treaty settlements and their enduring impact.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 4 November 2020.


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