26 Jul 2010

Maori language 'still endangered'

7:27 am on 26 July 2010

As the 35th Maori language week gets underway, speakers say the language is still endangered.

Maori Language Commission chairman Erima Henare says more people are now speaking Maori, but only at beginner level.

He says many more study Maori at NZQA levels one to four than pursue the language to bachelor, masters or doctoral degree level.

Last year, more than 9000 people enrolled in courses relating to Te Reo, with the majority of those enrolled at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

In the 1970s, Maori became concerned there was a real risk of the language dying out, due in part to Government policies, including prohibiting Te Reo in schools.