Associate Professors Poia Rewi and Rawinia Higgins speak about their research programme, Te Kura Roa, at the launch of the second book in the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga edited collection; The Value of the Māori Language: Te Hua o Te Reo Māori, published by Huia publishers, and edited by Associate Professors Higgins and Rewi, and Vincent Olsen-Reeder.
The book draws on research from a scholarly community to contribute to the value of the Māori language over the past 25 years and their aspirations for the future direction of the language. The 30 contributors are from a cross section of society – including leaders of the flax roots Kohanga Reo movement, Māori media entities, to policy people and politicians.
Associate Professor Rāwinia Higgins, an editor of the book, NPM Principal Investigator and Head of School, Te Kawa a Māui, School of Māori Studies, Victoria University, states, “There is a lack of scholarship and writings focussed on the value of the Māori language since the passing of the Māori Language Act 1987. Language loss is a critical contributor to identity loss and challenges the very being of Māori at individual and societal levels which, in turn, can inhibit Māori development to its fullest potential”.