International Mother Language Day Lecture

Date Tuesday 21 February 2023
Time 9am - 10am
Where School of Education, University of Waikato
Presenter Dr Katarina Edmonds
Contact Nicola Daly
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

Māori as a Mother Language for Mokopuna Māori.

Mokopuna Māori (grandchildren of Māori descent) come from diverse backgrounds and different starting points of Māori language. They do identify as Māori by Whakapapa (genealogy), that is they are a mokopuna of their tīpuna (ancestors); a blueprint of their forebears. These mokopuna belong to a whānau (family), a hapū (subtribe), and an iwi (tribe). They have geographical markers that identify them as belonging to their rohe (region). They can trace their lineage back to “Hawaiki nui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki pāmamao” (Big Hawaiki, Long Hawaiki, Distant Hawaiki). They have their own unique Māori cultural and Māori language identities. However, as a result of colonisation and assimilation, these learners may not have proficiency in the language that is the hallmark and vehicle of their distinctive culture, even though it is the language of the tangata whenua of Aotearoa (the indigenous people of Aotearoa), the official language of New Zealand since 1987. In this lecture I argue that by virtue of their birth te reo Māori is their mother tongue.

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