I mōhio rānei koe, nō ngā tau tata tonu nei, i kīia rā te reo Māori he reo tata korehāhā? Ko te tikanga o tēnei, he tokoiti iho te hunga kōrero Māori i ia tekau tau, ka mutu, i noho mōrearea te kōrerohia o te reo i te anamata.
Engari, nā te aha i pēnei ai? Nā ētahi Kāwanatanga tuatahi o Aotearoa i whakatū ētahi ture e whiua ai ētahi o ō tātou tīpuna ina kōrero Māori ai rātou. I tohutohua hoki ngā tamariki kia whākina ō rātou whānau mehemea ka rongo rātou i te reo Māori i te kāinga! I pōhēhē te Kāwanatanga o tērā wā ka whai oranga a Ngāi Māori mēnā ka kōrero Pākehā, kia pērā hoki ō rātou āhua i ō tauiwi mā. Ko te mate kē, i tokoiti iho ērā i kōrero i te reo, i whai hoki i ngā tikanga.
Maringanui he tokomaha ngā Māori i whawhai kia tiakina te reo Māori hei taonga mā Aotearoa, ā, ko te otinga atu, ko te kī taurangi a te Kāwanatanga ka tiakina, ka whakatairangatia, ka tautokona hoki e rātou te whakarauoratanga o te reo Māori. I te tau 1987, i whaimana te reo Māori i Aotearoa nei, i te taha o te reo rotarota. Nō reira, kia kaua e tukuna tō tātou reo ātaahua kia hemo, engari kē me kōrero i ngā wā me ngā wāhi katoa!
A language on the edge of extinction
Did you know that, not very long ago, te reo Māori was considered an endangered language? This meant that each decade there were less and less people who spoke te reo Māori and as a language, it was at risk of not being spoken again in the future.
But how did this happen? Early Governments of New Zealand put in place some rules that meant our ancestors were punished for speaking te reo Māori. They even told kids that they should tell on their whānau if they heard them speaking te reo Māori at home! The Government of that time thought that Māori people would be better off if they spoke English and acted more like the British Settlers. Unfortunately, less Māori spoke te reo Māori and undertook cultural practices.
Luckily, there were many Māori who fought hard to protect te reo Māori as a taonga of Aotearoa and as a result, the Government has since made a promise to protect, promote, and to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori. In 1987, te reo Māori became an official language of Aotearoa, New Zealand, along with NZ Sign Language. So, don’t take our beautiful reo for granted and make sure you use it wherever you go!