Historian Paul Moon says the Maori language is on “life support” and needs help to stay alive.
Mr Moon’s new book Ka Ngaro Te Reo shows how the language nearly became extinct in the 19th century and despite efforts to keep it going, is still on the ropes today.
He says making it compulsory in schools is not the answer.
“If you're relying on that you are saying we are giving up on any other hope that anything else is working." He wants Kiwis to have a genuine desire to learn Te Reo, but says the Government needs to step in and create a national programme to get it back on its feet.