Making Te Reo a Part of Everyday Life
Dr Paringatai has voiced her opinion that te reo Māori should be part of everyday conversation, has been urging people to use Māori greetings and has stated that people should not be afraid of giving Māori a try. She also warned the public that one generation can lose a language entirely, whereas it takes three generations to get that language back. For this reason, she welcomed the idea of making te reo Māori present all year long as, in her eyes, one week every year is not enough for those who teach the language. Regarding the concern that Māori language could be dying, Dr Paringatai expressed herself firmly against it because she says there are many staunch advocates of te reo Māori who would never let that happen.
Decline in the Number of Speakers
However, a report by the Royal Society has found that, in 2013, fewer New Zealanders could speak Māori when compared to the number of speakers in 2006. Moreover, it is the first time the number of speakers has fallen since 1996, when the linguistic situation was re-evaluated. The decrease in numbers has been attributed to a percentage of Māori speakers passing away or migrating, as well as to a lower percentage of people learning the language.