Hei timatanga korero : Maori language regenesis and Mihinare clergy.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis is about Maori language regenesis and the role of the Maori Anglican Church. It draws upon current research into language endangennent, language revival, language revitalisation and language reversal from an international sociolinguistic perspective. In particular, it explores Fishman's (1991) reversing language shift model within the context of the Maori Anglican Church. This model emphasises the critical importance of inter-generational language transmission in the home, family, neighbourhood and community. It is clear that for almost two hundred years the Maori Anglican Church has supported the development of the Maori language. Maori print literacy, Maori language synods and church board meetings, the Maori Anglican Church schools and tertiary institutions, and the conferences of the Te Aute College Students' Association (later known as the Young Maori Party) have all contributed to a tradition which has built the foundation for the Church's more recent efforts to lobby for kohanga reo, kura kaupapa, iwi radio stations and Maori television. The review of the Church’s history provides signposts to guide it in its selection of short, medium and long-tenn Maori language goals. In-depth interviews with twelve senior clergypersons furnish insights into the use of the Maori language in the contexts of the home, neighbourhood and community as well as the Church. These recordings also canvass their attitudes to the language in general, as well as their aspirations for the future. The research methodology explores a holistic approach to interviewing which has emerged as a developing Maori analytical tool. The thesis concludes by making three major recommendations on how the Maori Anglican Church might continue its Maori language planning and policy-making, and thus contribute to Maori language regenesis. Without these new initiatives, the Maori language within the Church may well become a language like Latin which is used in church services but is not a vibrant vernacular.