Revitalisation tools


Research led to the ZePA model of Māori language revitalisation in New Zealand: ZePA is an acronym for three critical positions, Zero – Passive – Active, and identifies factors that enable or disable language maintenance and acquisition. The ZePA model is an approach towards language revitalisation that extends beyond the people to whom the language belongs and raises the issue of a language being valued by the whole of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

 ZePA right-shift is the idea for revitalisation

Zero →Passive →Active 

Under ZePA Right-shift, we expect to see rightward movement. For example, a person who has been opposed to Māori language use in the past is offered a promotion to a position which is responsible for the Māori language policy might become less opposed and move to the Passive position. That is ZePA right-shift from Zero to Passive. After six months in that position, that person then decides to learn the language, or implements the inclusion of the Māori language in the professional development of all staff members. Again, ZePA right-shift from Passive to Active.

Our current focus is on developing a right-shift measurement tool to be used initially by government departments. Looking forward, we will tailor this tool for wider use.


The five elements of language planning

Language planning promotes these elements as key areas for the revitalisation of te reo Māori:

  • Status (Mana)  - People value te reo Māori
  • Critical awareness (Mārama pū) - People know te reo Māori is endangered and their role in revitalisation
  • Acquisition (Ako) - People are learning te reo
  • Use (Kōrerotanga) - People read, write, speak and comprehend te reo Māori in many places and circumstances (domains)
  • Corpus (Kounga) - The right words and terms are available for all circumstances.

Each of these areas are interdependent, for example, if more people learn the language it can be expected that there will be more who speak the language as a result, likewise the more people who use the language and learn the language, the higher the overall quality of the language. Language planning can help to ensure that all regeneration efforts are coordinated in each of the five areas.

Learn more about language planning here.


He Ara Poutama Mō Te Reo Māori

He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori is a collaborative project between Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Te Mātāwai and Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga. It is a microsimulation tool developed using cross-sectional data from multiple sources. He Ara Poutama is intended as a tool to support policy making and resource allocation for Te Whare o te Reo Mauriora agencies and the reo Māori sector more widely.

Tānga kōrero

Reports library

Our research projects


Te arotuki me te arotake

Monitoring & evaluation

How do we measure success?