Language Planning

  • What is language planning?


    Language planning is an evidence-based approach that is particularly useful in the revitalisation of Indigenous and endangered languages.

  • What does a language plan look like?


    A plan is a document that takes into account planning within your own organisation's context. Your organisation may be able to do a little or a lot. The main thing is to start and continue looking at how effective you have been and if there is more you can do. 

    A plan provides a focus and means of keeping everyone on track towards achieving their language goals. It can be as simple or as comprehensive as you want. There is no one size fits all as can be seen from the various plans that have already been developed in the public and private sectors. 

    Learn more about language planning here.

  • Do I have to have a language plan?


    All public service departments have been directed by Cabinet to complete language plans.

    Language plans are being developed by many other public sector organisations, businesses and community organisations. They are an effective way of contributing to the revitalisation of the Māori language.

  • What are the benefits of having a language plan?


    A Māori language plan can help ensure that efforts to revitalise Māori language are carefully directed to be as effective as possible. 

    Through developing and implementing a language plan, your organisation will:

    • Contribute to the revitalisation of te reo Māori
    • Enhance your organisation’s relationships with Māori
    • Strengthen your identity as a New Zealand organisation
    • Increase your organisational health by growing a confident and capable workforce
    • Meet other organisational goals that are enhanced by the use of te reo Māori such as Crown-Iwi relations, diversity and inclusion and cultural responsiveness.   

    See Language Planning for more information on how to start.

  • What is the language planning process? How long does it take?


    Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori recommends the following Language Planning Process:

    • Self-Assessment (4-6weeks)
    • Plan Development (6-8weeks)
    • Plan Implementation (9-12months)
    • Review and Refresh (6-8weeks)

    See Language Planning for more information on how to start.

  • Where/How do we start a language plan?


    See Language Planning for more information on how to start.

  • What can you do for us?


    If you are in the public sector, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori can help your organisation by:

    • Providing strategic advice and planning support 
    • Collaborating on policy outcomes and aspirations for te reo Māori where possible
    • Providing technical expertise on a case by case basis
    • Providing language planning resources and support to assist you to design, implement, monitor and evaluate your Māori language plan
    • Working with you to ensure that the actions set out within the language plan are sustainable for ongoing implementation, evaluation and review
    • Celebrating and promoting your achievements

    We do not yet offer one-on-one advice for the private sector but you can download our templates and get started here: Language Planning.

  • Does it cost?


    Organisations should work within current baselines to support revitalisation of te reo Māori. There are actions that organisations can take that have minimal financial impact such as:

    • Replacing signage with bilingual signage during normal maintenance
    • Developing the policy framework to support the revitalisation effort in the future e.g. email greetings and sign-offs
    • Using the resources on this website and
  • Who else is doing this?


    We are currently developing a tool to enable shared learning and participation through this site.

  • What HR induction resources are available?


    We recommend using the organisational capability maturity framework - E Tipu found in our tools section. We also have a questionnaire to help you assess where you are in that framework.

    See more templates here: Language Planning

  • What is the difference between a language plan and a language strategy?


    A strategy focuses on the big picture, a plan zooms in on what your organisation is going to do and what steps your organisation is going to take to achieve your organisation’s goals. If you are a public sector department, your strategy is the Crown's Māori Language Strategy, the Maihi Karauna.

  • What are examples of Māori language activities for the office?


    Encouraging staff and the public to make a conscious effort to:

    • Use Māori greetings such as kia ora, tēnā koe, tēnā kōrua, tēnā koutou, haere rā, e noho rā
    • Use Māori greetings in all email correspondence
    • Set a regular time for te reo Māori conversations in your organisation, such as a lunchtime:
      • Māori language games session
      • Māori language classes
      • Kīwaha o te wiki/expression of the week e.g. Tautoko! (I support that)
      • Promoting te reo Māori on your intranet.

    See for more ideas.