The Māori Language Act (2016)

The Māori Language Act 2016  replaced the Māori Language Act 1987 and affirms the status of te reo as the indigenous language of New Zealand, protected under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  It also reinforces the commitment between the Crown and Māori to work together to revitalise te reo Māori.

Under the act the Crown:  

“acknowledges the detrimental effects of its past policies and practices that have, over the generations, failed actively to protect and promote the Māori language and encourage its use by iwi and Māori” and “expresses its commitment to work in partnership with iwi and Māori to continue actively to protect and promote this taonga, the Māori language, for future generations”.

The act also established Te Mātāwai to represent and support language revitalisation among Māori, iwi and communities. Responsibility for Crown-funded grants for revitalisation (such as the Mā te Reo fund) was transferred to Te Mātāwai.

Our organisation leads the coordination of the Maihi Karauna, a cross-government role greatly expanding its influence.

The act exists in a te reo Māori version and an English language version, with the reo Māori version prevailing as law.