Measuring the value of the contribution of Māori language and culture to the New Zealand economy

A report prepared by Te Pua Wānanga o Te Ao - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato.

Te Reo Māori is unique and belongs to the lands and waters of Aotearoa. This valuable taonga forms a central part of Māori identity, and how Māori are identified. Despite this, Te Reo Māori is often discussed as a problem, or an artefact of a dying race. What detractors of Te Reo Māori fail to realise is that, unlike colonial languages which research suggests are interchangeable without negative implications for economic development, Te Reo Māori adds new value to the economy. It can be shared it with tourists, shape the way Māori think or do business, implemented to give products an edge and create increased wellbeing. The goods, services and contributions of Te Reo Māori are tangible benefits to the New Zealand economy which cannot be replicated if Te Reo Māori is lost.

This commissioned report aims to build on our understanding of Te Reo Māori as positioned above, through characterisation and measurement of the value of the contribution that Māori language and culture make to the New Zealand economy. The purpose of this report is to identify characteristics of the Māori language and Māori culture economy, to quantify the goods and servicesprovided by these economies and to define tools or models that can be used as a form of measurement. It offers seminal perspectives into the economic contribution of Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori to the New Zealand economy, providing another dimension to our understanding of the value Te Reo Māori creates and the importance of maintaining investment to ensure the success in the ongoing revitalisation Te Reo Māori.