Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga launched a new research initiative at Te Marae, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, in Wellington on 8th December 2010. Entitled ‘Te Pae Tawhiti’ (The Distant Horizon) this initiative will explore the value of the Māori language to our nation; its contribution to New Zealand’s society, economy and culture; and ways in which the language acts as a vehicle for an indigenous worldview, a particular way of experiencing and explaining the world. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is pleased to invest $1.5 million over the next three years in this research initiative, with a tripartite agreement between The University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Otago.
Two inspiring Māori researchers have been chosen to lead the initiative: Dr Rāwinia Higgins, School of Māori Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, and Associate Professor Pōia Rewi, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, the University of Otago.
While seeking to understand how the language contributes to economic development, cultural identity and social cohesion, the research will contribute to three key areas: uplifting language participation; increasing depth and fluency in te reo; and understanding the value of the Māori language in a variety of settings.