[mri] Far north, North Island, east coast. 148,000 (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). Ethnic population: 599,000 (2013 census). Total users in all countries: 157,980. Status: 6b (Threatened). Statutory language of national identity (1987, Maori Language Act, No. 176, Article 3), legal domains mostly. Alternate Names: New Zealand Maori. Autonym: te reo Maori. Dialects: North Auckland, South Island, Taranaki, Wanganui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua-Taupo, Moriori. 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] Scattered. 20,200 (McKee and Manning 2015), decreasing. Active Deaf community estimated 3,000–4,000 (2016 R. McKee). Marked decline across all age groups since 2001 (McKee and Manning 2015, McKee and McKee 2016). Status: 6b (Threatened). Recognized language (2006, New Zealand Sign Language Act, No. 18, Article 6). Alternate Names: NZSL. Dialects: None known. Many structural and lexical 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, McKee and Kennedy 2000). Linguists sometimes use the name BANZSL to refer to them as a group, while still recognizing them as separate related languages. Classification: Sign language. Comments: Developed informally in deaf schools and organizations. First school for the deaf established 1880, with oralist policies until 1979. Curriculum for using NZSL in schools has been developed but not yet implemented. Pilot project for teaching NZSL to families of young deaf children (McKee and Manning 2015). Taught in two universities. Professional training and organisations for interpreters and Deaf tutors.