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Māori Language Plan

To successfully secure funding from Te Māngai Pāho, the applicant is required to design a Māori Language Plan.

 The plan should:

  • identify the audience (to whom is the Māori Language Plan delivering outcomes?);
  • identify the desired impact on the audience that the proposed funding initiative is likely to have; and
  • describe the way in which it is proposed that the funding initiative will achieve the desired impact.
  • Additionally, the Māori Language Plan should describe the applicant’s internal Māori language capacity and capabilities and how this knowledge will contribute to delivering the anticipated Māori language impact.

 In a ‘Right Shift’ environment, a Māori Language Plan should identify:

  1. The objective of the Māori language programme or series should be stated in a few words or phrases. Ideally it will convey the measurable impact the programme is expected to have, and the incremental change desired in the programme’s target audience.
  2. How Te Māngai Pāho’s four high level goals (see clause 3.4 below) will be demonstrated in the programme or series.
  3. The Māori language specifications of the programme or series.

Te Reo Māori Programme Content

Audience Appeal
Briefly explain the thinking behind the chosen Māori language content percentage . Whether the percentage of language content is low or high, and in what ways language features accommodate the target audience.

For programmes with high Māori language content, indicate the programme’s capacity to contribute to ‘Right Shifting’, that is, enhancing the programme’s accessibility beyond its primary audience (e.g. including a version with subtitles or plans for distribution on other platforms).

Briefly indicate how the percentage of Māori language content will be sustained in the production. Indicate clearly how the language capability of production staff and talent directly contributes to this aspect of production. Describe how the proposed percentage of Māori language content in programmes will be achieved.

Your description should include:

  • an analysis of a typical episode;
  • a note of any variation of the proposed percentage of Māori language content across episodes remembering that the extent of variation between episodes may only be plus or minus 5% (of the proposed percentage).

It is important to note that the percentage of Māori language content is calculated as the proportion of the total programme dialogue (spoken or sung) and not as a proportion of the total programme duration.

Applicants need to provide a clear description of how te Reo Māori content will be achieved. This may be by means of:

  • an analysis of a typical episode if te Reo Māori content will be even from episode to episode; or 
  • a more detailed description if Te Reo Māori content will be built cumulatively across the series, remembering that neither Te Māngai Pāho nor Māori Television expect the quantity of Māori Language content to vary by more than + or – 5% on an episode by episode basis. 

NB: Te reo Māori content may be built up from a combination of:

  • voice over
  • waiata (provided it is in the foreground and not the background and purely incidental) 
  • scripted dialogue
  • unscripted dialogue

Te Reo Māori content will be measured as a proportion of the total programme dialogue (spoken or sung) and not as a proportion of the total programme duration.

Māori Language Objectives

Audience Appeal
Note to Applicants: Provide an explanation of the big picture language objectives for your programme. Consider the goals of the government’s Māori language strategy:

  • Strengthening language skills; 
  • Strengthening language use;
  • Strengthening education opportunities; 
  • Strengthening community leadership; and, 
  • Strengthening recognition of the Māori language. 

Which of these goals does your programme support? Does it support learning words and phrases in respect of a specific domain or activity? (eg A hunting programme provides an opportunity to develop promote and the language of hunting, the outdoors, game and kai; alternatively a sports commentary may introduce vocabulary or develop words and phrases specific to that particular sport).

The most significant contributor to language death is societal attitudes and values. When the language is not viewed as relevant or valued by society it can make revitalisation efforts onerous and overwhelming. Does your programme support wider recognition of te reo Māori? If so what is its unique contribution? Who is the target audience for this?

Much of the revitalisation effort and resource has been focussed on numbers and proficiency at the expense of some of the other goals of the government’s Māori language strategy; language plans that specifically support a wider range of the goals are encouraged.

Note to Applicants: Whether the language content is low or high, and the language simple or complex should be driven by the specified target audience and demographic. For programmes with high Māori language content, indicate whether there is any consideration of increasing ‘Right Shifting’ capacity of the programme by enhancing the accessibility of the programme beyond its primary audience. (For example, this may include a version with subtitles or plans for distribution on other platforms.

Te Māngai Pāho's High Level Goals for Māori Language

Te Māngai Pāho is cognisant of the government’s Māori Language Strategy and supports the goals of that strategy. As articulated in our own strategy documents, the research available to Te Māngai Pāho suggests that there is a need to re-focus our approach to language revitalisation and as a consequence Te Māngai Pāho has adopted the KoPA (previously ZePA),  ‘Right Shift’ approach (for more information on the KoPA/ZePA model please visit the Te Māngai Pāho website). Te Māngai Pāho has also elected to adopt the following four high level goals as an expression of that strategy:

  • Ko te reo kia tika: High Quality
  • Ko te reo kia rere: Frequency and eloquence
  • Ko te reo kia Māori: Promote a Māori World View
  • Ko te reo kia ora: Normalisation of the Māori language

To provide a little more context for these objectives:

Ko te reo kia tika
At its most simple level this is about good quality reo, but under the ‘Right Shift’ umbrella it becomes more about improving the quality of reo along the learning continuum. Of course there is still the expectation that in all domains where an Applicant can control the quality of reo in a programme it will be of the highest standard. However, implicit in the ‘Right Shift’ concept is the notion that Producers and Reo Consultants not only strive for high quality te reo Māori but also work in a sympathetic and proactive manner with less capable exponents of te reo to produce an acceptable quality while also contributing to a ‘Right Shift’. The thought being that ‘continual improvement’ with high quality as the end goal is a good outcome.

Ko te reo kia rere
Again at very simple level the expectation is that there is a frequent and eloquent flow of te reo Māori. Again, where the Applicant has control of the quality of te reo it should be eloquent. But a broader expectation of this objective might also include ‘incremental increases in the quantity of te reo in a programme’; over the course of a series, or from series to series, or perhaps even both. The emphasis is on incremental changes because Te Māngai Pāho recognises the need to nurture and grow audiences.

To dramatically increase the quantity of te reo in a programme or series may have a negative impact on the audience, which could result in a negative impact on Māori language outcomes or ‘Left Shift’. Ultimately the quantity and level of te reo Māori in a programme and the decision as to what is an appropriate incremental growth rate is a question that will need to be set in consultation with the broadcaster of the programme.

From a Te Māngai Pāho perspective it is suggested a conversation around the language ‘trajectory’ of a programme is something that should be considered early in the planning of the programme. It follows that programmes that have a language plan that includes a clear and sustainable language trajectory will be encouraged.

Ko te reo kia Māori
Make the language Māori. Culture and language are inextricably entwined and therefore it is vitally important that the thought behind the language is culturally accurate. Another way of expressing this might be to say translate the whakaaro or wairua and not the word(s). Take for example the English expression ‘you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear’. Clearly neither a sow’s ear nor a silk purse was in abundant supply prior to the arrival of the Pākehā. So the ‘kia Māori’ objective might not be supported by a direct translation of that expression. A more Māori translation might be ‘tē puta mōtoi mai te pungapunga’ (a greenstone ear pendant doesn’t come from pumice). In the context of ‘Right Shifting’ fluency, the hope is that the good quality te reo produced is imbued with and reflects a Māori cultural perspective.

Ko te reo kia ora
Te Māngai Pāho believes that ‘normalisation’ of te reo Māori must be a primary objective of our language interventions. That requires te reo to be more openly spoken and used in a wider variety of ‘natural’ everyday domains and for those domains to expand so that they hopefully start to overlap. Normalisation implies that the sound of the language, its visibility, and its use are all part of normal everyday life, from the purchasing of a loaf of bread to buying a car. It is not the compulsory use of the language, but rather the acceptance upon seeing, hearing and speaking the language as a normal and expected part of life in Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

Currently the use of te reo is largely confined to places of work, educational domains, marae (although the suspicion is that in the case of most marae it is more specifically the ‘formal marae’), and a modest number of homes. The research indicates that even in homes where there are a number of fluent speakers they default to English most of the time. Obviously there is significant opportunity for ‘Right Shift’ in terms of normalisation of te reo Māori. But normalisation is the ultimate expression of Te Māngai Pāho’s vision: ‘Ahakoa kei whea, ahakoa āwhea, ahakoa pēwhea, kōrero Māori’; Māori language – everywhere, every day, in every way!

Additional notes for Applicants:

  • There is an expectation that organisations funded by Te Māngai Pāho will lead the ‘Right Shift’ concept with their own behaviour. Therefore Te Māngai Pāho will expect Applicants to demonstrate a commitment to develop and maintain Māori language skills within its own organisation. 
  • Language planning should be an integral and organic part of programme production and not a last minute ‘add on’. It is therefore important that producers ensure that have the appropriate language planning and quality expertise available to the project from inception until completion. 
  • State what contribution the proposed programme will make towards the revitalization of the Māori language and the ‘Right Shift’ objective of Te Māngai Pāho’s language strategy. Talk about the specific opportunities that your programme offers and not in broad generalities. 
  • Where possible create unique language outcomes for your programme and suggest the ways that you might measure those outcomes. Commitment to measure outcomes is one of the assessment criteria. 
  • State the target audience language level and intended percentage of Te Reo Māori. These need to fall within the following categories: Receptive audiences (30% - to 70%), or Fluent speakers of Te Reo Māori (over 70%). 
  • Provide details of the script – where appropriate and according to the proposed programme genre. 
  • Provide a Māori language plan that talks about the specific things your programme will do for the te reo Māori