A bilingual Pae Tū Mōkai – a research framework

On October 20th, 2019, Fab Feathy facilitated a community forum titled “Ka Mua, Ka Muri: Looking Back & Moving Forward.” During this forum, members of the Featherston community acknowledged the need to support, develop, and meaningfully celebrate Tangata Whenua and Te Ao Māori within the Featherston community.

After this forum, mana whenua Sophronia Smith (who was at the time a Fab Feathy kaiwhakarato) met with local whānau to develop a plan.

This plan included research on Te Reo Māori use in Featherston. Fab Feathy contracted Reo Rua back in 2020 to undertake this research project on behalf of the Pae Tū Mōkai community. The scope of this research included the current use of Te Reo Māori here in Pae Tū Mōkai, to understand who is championing the language and how te reo can be supported to flourish further.

This resource was created in consultation with schools, families, businesses, community groups, and wider (South) Wairarapa marae and whānau.

Hītori – Te Horopaki – the wider history and context of Te Reo Māori in Aotearoa

1807 was the first attempt at a Te Reo orthography

1816 First missionary school est. Thomas Kendall – English curriculum, Te Reo instruction

1842 Te Karere o Niu Tireni – name of the first Māori language newspaper

1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi

1845 – 1872 NZ Land Wars

1847 Education Ordinance Act – English instruction, law meant only English as language of instruction/teaching in schools

1867 Native Schools Act, law meant that NO Te Reo could be spoken at all in and around NZ schools

1896 Total Māori population (decline): 42,113

1920-60 Less males (because of the world wars) and Urbanisation

1972-75 Ngā Tamatoa and Te Reo Māori Society Māori Language petition, first Māori Language Week, Whakatupuranga Rua Mano initiative

1978 Ruātoki Bilingual School (First)

1982 First Kōhanga Reo – Wainuiomata

1985 first Kura Kaupapa Māori – Hoani Waititi

1987 Māori Language Act, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo, Te Ūpoko o te Ika radio station – law meant that Te Reo Māori was officially recognized as an official language of NZ; both socially and in the legal system

1993 Te Māngai Pāhō

2004 Māori TV

2008 ‘Te Reo’ channel

2016 Māori Language Act updated/enacted by govt. Includes the national Māori Language Strategy ‘Te Maihi Karauna’



If you have any questions on this mahi, please contact Te Ataahia Hurihanganui by emailing taahia@reorua.com or contacting her via the Reo Rua website.