On August 1, 1987,the Māori Language Act came into effect making Māori an official language of New Zealand. Until the mid-19th century, te reo Māori was the predominant language spoken in Aotearoa New Zealand. As more English speakers arrived, it was increasingly confined to Māori communities. By the mid-20th century, there were concerns that the language was dying out.
The act also established the Māori Language Commission, to promote its use. It was argued that te reo was a taonga (treasure) that the government was obliged to protect under the Treaty of Waitangi.
We ask you creator God
to bless Māori people and ask that they may find ways to preserve and share the treasure of their language and culture.
We ask that as Aotearoa becomes increasing multicultural that we might be able to cherish the rich diversity that is now to be found here but also sustain a sense of unity as a nation.
By Fr Pat O'Shea - Lower Hutt