With over 60,000 speakers – a number that is actually growing – Maori isn’t even classified as endangered. While technically still “vulnerable” things are looking good for the Polynesian language native to New Zealand.
Maori enjoys a lot of legal protection and as one of the three official languages of New Zealand (along with NZ Sign Language and English) is represented quite well on the island nation appearing on building names, administrations, businesses and other signage along side English
In fact the language’s presence is so strong that Maori interpreters are readily available at all parliamentary sessions or other high level government affair should a speaker choose to use Maori.
Part of the Maori success story can be attributed to strong movements such as Kohanga Reo, a project put into effect in the 80s that provides immersion environments from infancy through early childhood.
Projects like these are all part of the much larger Maori Renaissance, a movement that has restored the Maori culture from being “just another dying native culture” into a powerful, up and coming society with equal rights and representation among citizens of European lineage.