14 Sep 2018

More than half of NZers support te reo Māori in primary schools

5:25 pm on 14 September 2018

More than half of New Zealanders want te reo Māori to be a core subject in primary schools, according to statistics released by Stats NZ.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Data about attitudes to the Māori language was collected for the first time in New Zealand's biggest survey of well-being - the General Social Survey 2016.

Fifty-three percent of New Zealanders in the survey strongly agreed or agreed Māori should be a core subject in primary schools.

The 2016 GSS also recorded people's ability to use te reo Māori in day-to-day conversations.

Stats NZ senior manager Jason Attewell said only six in 100 New Zealanders said they could speak te reo Māori very well, well, or fairly well.

More than a third of those surveyed said it would be a good idea if all New Zealanders spoke both languages.

The survey showed support for te reo was strongest among New Zealanders aged 15-44 years.

Those aged over 65 were the least likely to support these statements.

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