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Most Māori te reo speakers kōrero with their pre-schoolers

Most Māori adult te reo speakers living with pre-schoolers speak at least some te reo Māori at home to the children, Statistics New Zealand said today.

“A total of 82 percent of Māori adult te reo speakers use some te reo with pre-schoolers living with them,” Statistics NZ Kaihautū Māori Rhonda Paku said. For primary school children, the figure is 79 percent.

“The statistics are encouraging for whānau with younger children, including tamariki going to kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa, and kura reo rua,” Ms Paku said.

“By the time tamariki are at secondary school, the figure reduces to 73 percent, but it is still relatively high.”

Statistics NZ launched a snapshot of Māori well-being – Te Ao Mārama 2016 – at the start of 2016 Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

Statistics NZ figures also show that Māori women are more likely to speak te reo Māori.

Ms Paku said 58 percent of Māori wāhine have some te reo Māori speaking skills. For tāne, it’s 51 percent.

“It’s interesting, but not surprising, that wāhine are leading the way in using te reo. Overall, 12 percent of wāhine kōrero te reo very well or well, compared with 9 percent of tāne.

“We see the differences particularly among younger Māori,” Ms Paku said. “Women are often the main parent at home with younger tamariki, and most kaiako teaching te reo are women.”

For Māori aged 15 to 24, wāhine are more likely to speak te reo well or very well, (10 percent compared with 6 percent for men). For Māori aged 24 to 34, 14 percent of wāhine speak te reo well or very well, compared with 7 percent of tāne.

“The story only changes for Māori aged 55 and older, when more tāne – 18 percent – than wāhine – 16 percent – can kōrero well,” Ms Paku said.

The graph below shows the proportion of Māori who can speak te reo Māori well or very well, by age group and sex.

Graph, Can speak te reo Māori well or very well, by age group and sex, June to August 2013.

See Māori statistics for more information about Māori.

Statistics NZ thanks all Māori for providing valuable survey information.

Ends

For media inquiries, contact:
Rhonda Paku, 027 333 3191 or Marina Skinner, 021 792 260
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 6 July 2016

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