WELLINGTON, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- More than half of New Zealanders say Maori language should be a core subject in primary schools, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said on Friday.
Data about attitudes to the Maori language was collected for the first time in New Zealand's biggest survey of well-being, the General Social Survey (GSS) 2016.
The Maori language is recognized as a treasure for all New Zealanders, labor market and household statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said in a statement, adding the survey shows about half of New Zealanders have positive attitudes towards the Maori language.
Almost half of adult New Zealanders said they agreed that the government should encourage and support the use of Maori in everyday situations, and about 45 percent agreed that signage should be both in Maori and English, according to the survey.
Nearly half of New Zealanders had used at least some Maori words or phrases in the previous four weeks, it shows.
The 2016 GSS also recorded people's ability to use Maori in day-to-day conversations. Only 6 in 100 New Zealanders say they can speak Maori very well, well, or fairly well, Attewell said. However, he said more than half of New Zealanders commonly use Maori words or phrases.
In the 2013 Census, 148,395 people said they spoke Maori, compared with 157,110 in 2006.