An old problem with new directions: Māori language revitalisation and the policy ideas of youth
Article by Nathan John Albury in Current Issues in Language Planning, volume 17, issue 2, 2016.
Legislative changes are afoot in New Zealand that are formalising an ideological shift in policy that decreasingly positions the Māori language a matter of interethnic national identity but increasingly as one for Māori self-determination. The Waitangi Tribunal (WAI262, Waitangi Tribunal, 2011) established that, from here on, Māori language policy should be determined in large measure by Māori ideas. This paper advances the question of what these Māori ideas are, and indeed whether these align with those of non-Māori. In particular, the paper reports findings from a large scale qualitative survey that used a folk linguistic approach to solicit what sociolinguistic situation Māori and non-Māori youth envisage language revitalisation policy should produce, and what policy priorities they propose to achieve that. It then critically assesses whether the ideas of these youth align with the Māori language policy objectives of the New Zealand state.