A discussion about the decreasing proficiency levels of one of the official languages in New Zealand, te reo Māori, would not be complete without understanding teacher trainees’ attitudes and motivations towards taking an optional Māori language course. This is because teacher trainees can provide significant opportunities within the classroom to promote learning of te reo and understanding their perspectives on learning the language to inform future revitalisation efforts.
Kua hau ngä rongo o te hangarau i te mata o te whenua, me uaua ka kitea he tangata kāore i te whakamahi i tētahi momo hangarau—te pouaka whakaata, te waea pūkoro, te rorohiko, me te ipurangi. Katoa ēnei nei mea he uri nō te wāhiaotanga, ā, he whakangāwari i te horapa o ngā mea katoa ki ngā hau e whā o te ao. Ko te ito o tēnei tuhinga roa he titiro ki ngā mata e rua o te hangarau, arā, te mata i tāmi i te iwi Māori, me te mata i whakawhanake i te iwi Māori.
He aha te reo Māori i ngaro ai ki Ōtākou? He hiahia nō te hapū ki te whai i te rākau a te Pākehā. I whai rātou i te mātauranga me te whakapono o te Pākehā. Waihoki, tē taea e rātou te ao hou te karo. Ahakoa tērā, kei te pupuritia tonutia ngā tikanga o te kāinga. I uiuitia tētahi Taua o te kāinga e te kaituhi, ko Aunt Jean tōna ingoa ki te kāinga. Kei roto ia i te reanga tuatahi i tipu ki te reo Pākehā ki Ōtākou. He tino kaumātua o te kāinga, ā, i tau hoki tana tū ki tōna ao Māori. Ahakoa kāore ōna reo Māori, ehara i te mea, i te tangi ia mō te reo kei te memeha atu.
Kua whakapau kaha te mahi a te tangata ki te whakahaumanu i te reo Māori. I whakamanahia ā-turetia te reo Māori, ā, kua whakaputahia ētahi rautaki reo Māori mō te whenua. Heoi, kāore anō te reo Māori kia māori i ngā wāhi katoa o te hapori. Ko ngā marae, ko ngā kura Māori, ko ngā āhuatanga Māori kē ngā wāhi ‘tika’ mō te reo Māori. Ka aro tēnei pepa ki te reo Māori ki roto i tētahi wāhanga kē o te porihanga, arā, ko ngā hinonga kāwanatanga.
In recent times, during the Māori language revitalisation era, there has been a renewed interest in learning and promoting Māori dialects. Iwi identification is often signalled by younger speakers of Māori through pronunciation, idiom, vocabulary and written forms that are thought to be associated with a particular iwi or region. To date, there has not been promotion of a standard form of Māori; standardisation efforts have instead largely focused on lexical/technical development and promoting orthographic consistencies for writing Māori.