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Te reo Māori in The New Zealand Curriculum

Te reo Māori is the indigenous language of Aotearoa New Zealand and a taonga, guaranteed protection under the Treaty of Waitangi. It was declared an official language in 1987. As a consequence, te reo Māori has a special place in The New Zealand Curriculum. Indeed, the Curriculum incorporates the provision of te reo Māori programmes in one of its eight statements of principle. These principles are the foundations of curriculum decision making in New Zealand schools.

The Curriculum acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.The New Zealand Curriculum, page 9.

Te reo Māori is included in Learning Languages, which is of one of eight learning areas in The New Zealand Curriculum. This learning area “provides the framework for the teaching and learning of languages that are additional to the language of instruction” (The New Zealand Curriculum, page 24). It emphasises the inseparable links between language, culture, and identity. This means that as students learn te reo Māori, they also deepen their knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and develop their own personal, group, national, and human identities.