In Budget 2013 it was announced that Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori would receive $8 million for the Māori Language Research and Development Fund, spread over four years. The purpose of the fund is to build an evidence base for the revitalisation of te reo Māori. 

To ensure that maximum benefit is derived from the research funds allocated in 2013 the Board of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori established He Puna Whakarauora. This centre has a specific focus on research related to the regeneration and revitalisation of te reo Māori. It has a national focus, and works with a range of Māori-language research stakeholders in order to undertake its work programme. 

National research agenda for the regeneration and revitalisation of te reo Māori 

Te Matataua o te Reo was prepared by Te Kotahi Research Institute - The University of Waikato. A research that was commissioned by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders (individuals and groups who are actively involved with te reo Māori revitalisation and regeneration); and to identify their particular research/knowledge needs, interests and priorities in relation to te reo Māori regeneration and revitalisation, as well as their current research activities and access to resources. The main objective of this report is to inform the development of a National Research Agenda and to create a resource platform for Māori language communities and those involved in Māori language revitalisation initiatives and research.

Te Matataua o te Reo [PDF, 3.1 MB]

Research portal

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori recognises that digital technologies play a key role in the revitalisation of te reo Māori. This website includes a digital research portal to encourage research discussion and exchange amongst Māori language revitalisation stakeholders. 

Access the Research Portal

Te Ahu o te Reo

Exploring the health of te reo in Māori homes and communities

NZCER – Te Wāhanga(external link) has completed research on the health of te reo Māori in homes and communities. Te Ahu o te Reo explored how whānau in nine communities were working towards re-establishing te reo Māori as a secure, living language and a normal means of communication in daily life.

The findings from Te Ahu o te Reo will inform funding and delivery of programmes to help ensure the best results for te reo Māori. A set of recommendations will inform action by national and local government, and in the education and broadcasting sectors.

Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori, who commissioned the research, will work with Te Mātāwai(external link) to address the recommendations.

We produced reports that present the findings from each of the nine communities in depth. The reports highlight challenges and opportunities that whānau experienced as they pursued their goals and aspirations in maintaining, revitalising and normalising te reo Māori in each community. 


Tāmaki Makaurau ki te Tonga

Te Wairoa


Tauranga Moana


Te Uru o Tāmaki



Te Ahu o te Reo is about te reo Māori in the 21st century. It builds on the seminal Māori language survey carried out in the 1970s by Richard and Nena Benton, which showed that the Māori language was in a perilous state across Aotearoa. Eight of the communities that took part in that survey were involved in Te Ahu o te Reo. Read a summary of the Methodology [DOCX, 28 KB].

The project’s name references the past and the future.  

Dr Patu Hohepa named this research project ‘Te Ahu o te Reo’.  The meaning of the name is two-fold, and references both past and future. Te Ahu o te Reo is linked to the whakataukī, ‘Ko te reo te tūāhu o te mana Māori’. This whakataukī likens te reo Māori to a tūāhu or altar because of its important role in maintaining our culture, our marae, mana Māori, our tikanga and our identity. It refers to the idea of having a significant place for te reo Māori. At the same time Te Ahu o te Reo encourages us to look ahead to the future and to move forward to revitalise our language. The name reflects the dynamic nature of language, and retains a connection to the original whakataukī. It is about where we have come from, where we are now, and where we want to be in regard to te reo Māori.

Measuring the value of the contribution of Māori language and culture to the New Zealand economy 

This report was completed by Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao - The University of Waikato. The purpose of this report is to identify characteristics of the Māori language and Māori culture economy, to quantify the goods and services provided by these economies and to define tools or models that can be used as a form of measurement. The research draws attention to the conceptual and theoretical development of a framework to underpin the economic modelling in order to arrive at a quantification of the value. This theoretical development was informed by a literature review and stakeholder interviews which allowed the research to develop a definition of the Māori language economy and describe the characteristics of the economy, ending in a description of our frameworks for understanding the value of Te Reo Māori. 

Measure the value of te reo Māori [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Evaluating the impact of wānanga whakarauora reo (language regeneration and revitalisation workshops) and their role in language regeneration and revitalisation 

Kura Whakarauora is a report that was completed by R & K Consultants Limited. This research project aim was to evaluate the impact of wānanga whakarauora reo and their role in community led language regeneration and revitalisation activities. Kura Whakarauora is a practical workshop for participants to develop a plan to revitalise the Māori language in a supportive and interactive environment. This report provides the findings of an implementation and impact evaluation following attendance of 85 whānau, marae, hapū, iwi, community groups and interest groups at two test Kura Whakarauora. A total of 20 who attended the two Kura Whakarauora were interviewed for this report; 12 participants completed follow-up surveys, while three case studies were examined to consider the link between attendance at the Kura Whakarauora and language revitalisation and regeneration. This report supports the continuation of Kura Whakarauora to develop models for the interest groups as well as building the capacity and capability of language planners across the country to support the establishment and maintenance of revitalisation activities throughout language communities. 

Kura Whakarauora (Māori) [PDF, 2.7 MB]

Kura Whakarauora (English) [PDF, 2.7 MB] 

Reo Māori Pākehā Voices
The Bilingual Land Our Hearts Know is Possible

Te reo Māori, the indigenous language of Aotearoa New Zealand, is intricately connected to these islands and their peoples. Pākehā comprise a small proportion of speakers of te reo Māori, but have a significant effect on the language as they comprise the majority of the wider population.

This research aimed to understand in depth the experiences of fluent Pākehā speakers of te reo Māori. It found many commonalities across this group, despite its diverse composition. The findings were complex and may appear paradoxical. These people have found ways to carry our colonial past, our complicated present, and our aspirations for the future, through their words and their actions. Their experiences can help to inform us about the multitude of challenges and advantages involved in becoming bilingual Pākehā citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Fourteen Pākehā who are second language speakers in te reo Māori were interviewed for this research and four key aspects of their experiences were explored and discussed in relation to te reo Māori revitalisation and re-normalisation: 1) motivations for learning te reo; 2) challenges on the path; 3) ways they navigated through these challenges; and 4) the value of te reo Māori for them.

Reo Māori, Pākehā Voices Report [PDF, 1 MB]

Te Tai - Te Reo Māori Treaty Settlement Stories - Te Reo Māori in Broadcasting

This article discusses the journey of te reo Māori to the Waitangi Tribunal. There is a specific focus on the Māori broadcasting sector and its development. It highlights significant people who were instrumental in ensuring the status of te reo Māori was recognised in this sector. It also focusses on the development of te reo Māori since its recognition in the broadcasting sector.

Te Tai – Te Reo Māori Treaty Settlement Stories – Te Reo Māori in Broadcasting [DOCX, 58 KB]

Ki te Tahatū o te Rangi - Normalising te Reo Māori Across Non-traditional Māori Language Domains

In 2018, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission) commissioned the New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) and Te Ipukarea (The National Māori Language Institute) to explore the integration of Māori language and culture in organisations across New Zealand.

This research identifies why organisations use, support and champion the use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori (Māori language and culture) in Aotearoa, and the challenges that prevent them from doing so. Understanding the drivers and barriers of te reo Māori (Māori language), terminology and tikanga Māori (Māori culture) workplace usage is a crucial element for achieving a greater use of Māori language across New Zealand society.

Ki te tahatū o te rangi - Normalising te reo Māori across non-traditional Māori language domains report. [PDF, 2.4 MB]

Whakanuia te reo report

The purpose of the study for this report was to understand the actual and potential contribution of the English-medium compulsory schooling sector to the revitalisation of te reo Māori. To this end, the evaluation sought to identify how te reo Māori is delivered in English medium schools; what is working; what success looks like; and what may be reasonably expected of the provision.

Whakanuia te reo report(external link)

Snapshot 1 - Leadership(external link)

Snapshot 2 - The role of whānau(external link)

Snapshot 3 - Innovation(external link)

Snapshot 4 - Benefits(external link)

Snapshot 5 - Language(external link)

Snapshot 6 - Challenges(external link)

Snapshot 7 - TOC(external link)

Snapshot 8 - Attitudes(external link)

Snapshot 9 - NZ Language(external link)

Snapshot 10 - Models(external link)


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