There are several languages of
New Zealand. English ( New Zealand English) Official Language of NZ is the dominant language, spoken by most New Zealanders The country's [1 ] de jure official languages are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Other languages are also used by ethnic communities.
Official languages [ edit ]
New Zealand became the first country in the world
[ to adopt a sign language as an official language. It became official on 10 April 2006. ] citation needed It is now legal for use and access in legal proceedings including in court and access to government services. [2 ]
There are around 70,000 native speakers of Maori out of a population of over 500,000
Māori people, with 161,000 of the country's 4 million residents claiming conversational ability in Māori. [3 ] [4 ]
Native languages [ edit ]
The pre-European inhabitants of the main islands of New Zealand all spoke
Māori. A number of outlying islands and territories of New Zealand have their own native languages:
Immigrant languages [ edit ]
New Zealand has more speakers of several
Polynesian languages resident in New Zealand than are resident in the country that language is native to (for example Niuean). [ It also has immigrants from other European and Asian countries who have brought their languages with them. According to ] citation needed Ethnologue, the largest groups are Samoan (50,000), "Rarotongan" ( Cook Islands Maori, 25,000), Hindi and other Indian languages (26,200), Yue Chinese (20,000) and Arabic (4000). [3 ]
Statistics [ edit ]
At the 2006 New Zealand Census, the following languages were spoken by more than 0.5% of the population.
English ( New Zealand English)
New Zealand Sign Language
Chinese (not further defined)
None (e.g. too young)
References [ edit ]
^ "Becoming a Kiwi". NZ Immigration . Retrieved 2006-08-19.
^ Governor-General gives assent to Sign Language Bill, Press Release: Governor General, 10 April 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2006.
^ a b Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). "Languages of New Zealand". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, (Fifteenth edition. ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International . Retrieved 2006-08-19.
^ "2001 Census: National Summary" (PDF). Statistics New Zealand. p. 119. Archived from the original on 2006-09-02 . Retrieved 2006-08-19.
^ "2006 Census Data - QuickStats About Culture and Identity - Tables". Statistics New Zealand . Retrieved 14 August 2012.