[mri] Far north, North Island, east coast. 148,000 in New Zealand (2013 census). 100,000 understand but do not speak it (1995 Maori Language Commission); 30,000–50,000 adult speakers over 15 years old (1995). Population total all countries: 148,660. Ethnic population: 599,000 (2013 census). Status: 6b (Threatened). Statutory language of national identity (1987, Maori Language Act, No. 176, Article 3), legal domains mostly. Alternate Names: New Zealand Maori Dialects: Bay of Plenty, Moriori, North Auckland, Rotorua-Taupo, South Island, Taranaki, Wanganui. Formerly fragmented into regional dialects, some of which diverged quite radically from what became the standard dialect. Lexical similarity: 71% with Hawaiian [haw], 57% with Samoan [smo]. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, East Fijian-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear, East, Central, Tahitic Comments: Moriori dialect in Chatham Islands has no remaining speakers. Christian.
New Zealand Sign Language
[nzs] 20,200 (2013 census). Status: 5 (Developing). Recognized language (2006, New Zealand Sign Language Act, No. 18, Article 6). Alternate Names: NZSL Dialects: None known. Many structural similarities between British Sign Language (BSL) [bfi], Australian Sign Language (Auslan) [asf], and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) [nzs] and a high degree of mutual intelligibility (2003 T. Johnston, 2005 R. McKee). Linguists sometimes use the name BANZSL to refer to them as a group, while still recognizing them as separate related languages. Classification: Deaf sign language