An education symposium in New York addressing the need to revitalise indigenous languages has been the springboard for a Te Waipounamu polytech to launch a new degree programme.
The Maori Language and Indigenous Studies programme is the latest addition to the language and culture programmes offered at Te Puna Wanaka - the Maori studies department of the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT).
Te Puna Wanaka manager Hemi Hoskins said CPIT realised it needed to give its students more career options when they graduated, and look at how they could take their Te Reo Maori with them.
A speaker at a symposium in New York last year spoke about a language's ability to provide for its speakers, which brought the message home that his department needed to explore more options, Mr Hoskins said.
Te Puna Wanaka consulted different iwi about what skill sets their descendants required, and how Te Reo could be an asset for someone developing their career, which lead to the new degree course being created, he said.