Te Reo in decline among Auckland-based Māori

By Peata Melbourne

A new report focused on Māori issues shows those living in Auckland have a declining rate in te reo compared to Māori across Aotearoa. The findings come from the Independent Māori Statutory Board as part of their Māori Plan for Tāmaki Makaurau.

The Independent Māori Statutory Board released a report today providing a snapshot of Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Overall the circumstances are good, but the report also highlights areas of concern.

Statistics show that Auckland has the largest Māori population in the world, one in four Māori in Aotearoa lives in Auckland, and 50% of Māori in Auckland are under 25 years of age.

“We've had one hundred and fifty years of disenfranchisement [and] alienation making us be someone else,” says IMSB chairman David Taipari, “so it's a big road back for us all.”

The report also showed there are more Māori in governance and management in Auckland than elsewhere, and there is also a higher participation rate in local body elections.

“People can use this report and use the Māori Plan…and even try and look at their own areas and measure [them against] it, and see what their councils or central government or themselves are doing to proactively raise the quality of life for their people,” says Taipari.

However when it comes to the language- the efforts for its revival over the past few decades appear endless and include the establishment of language institutions, total immersion schools, media channels and more. Which begs the question, why the decline in the language for Māori in Auckland?

“We're the highest population of Māori in the country and we've got a range of tribal people here so it's just not like a home on the East Coast or in Hauraki, for example, where all the tribes are there,” says Taipari, “This is a big Māori population and Auckland as a whole is facing some significant issues.”

It's the first of many more Māori plan assessments to come.