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Accepted Paper:

Language movement and social transformation: the shifting value of te reo for non-Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand  
Michelle O'Toole (La Trobe University)

Paper short abstract:

National and regional changes in New Zealand society are leading to a valorisation of aspects of te ao Māori, the Māori world, especially te reo, by non-Māori people. Non-Māori people's shifting relationships with te reo are producing language movement and social change.

Paper long abstract:

In the Eastern Bay of Plenty region in the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, there is a cultural shift occurring amongst non-Māori people due to an increasing engagement with te ao Māori (the Māori world) and a valorisation of te reo Māori. In this paper, I argue that this shift is occurring because of national and regional changes in New Zealand society. These changes include increased agency for Māori resulting from Treaty of Waitangi settlements and increased numbers of immigrants settling in the Bay of Plenty region. These changes are resulting in many non-Māori enrolling in te reo classes to gain at least a novice proficiency in the language, with the broader aims of improving employment prospects and enhancing social relationships. Once in class, many non-Māori discern further value in learning about tikanga Māori (Māori cultural protocol). As these students' values regarding te reo and te ao Māori change, the way they relate to and engage with te reo also changes, resulting in language movement as te reo reaches a wider population, and social transformation due to changing ideas of how the New Zealand identity is constituted.

Panel P061
Linguistic agency and responsibility in (im-)mobility
  Session 1 Friday 17 August, 2018, -