12 May 2014

Just 400 Ngati Awa retain te reo

8:48 pm on 12 May 2014

An Eastern Bay of Plenty tribe has set a goal for 90 percent of its descendants to have some level of fluency in Te Reo Maori.

'Love the language' flags are flying in Wellington / Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Photo: RNZ

Ngati Awa wants the majority of its people to speak in their native tongue by 2050.

A kaumatua, Pouroto Ngaropo, says about 20-thousand people are on its tribal register.

He says they've done their own survey through hapu and found just under 400 descendants can speak Te Reo Maori.

Mr Ngaropo said the survey was centred on whether the language it its rohe would survive.

It asked how many speakers were on the pae (orators' bench), the number of kaikaranga (women who make a ceremonial call) on the marae, and how many speakers in its tribal area who are able to carry out cultural responsibilities.