Today, only 9,2% of the New Zealand population are Maori. And 95% of them live in the Northern Island.
Though, the number of the Maori population is increasing, even their culture is being brought back. Today Maori songs, dances, traditional carving and the Maori language are being taught in New Zealand schools. The Maori language is, like English, an official language. But only a few Maori master the Maori language as a first language today. It has also been improvement in the Maori's legal and social status the past years. In 1975 they got back a lot of the rights they were formally promised in 1840. And in 1985 a number of Maori tribes, after pressure by Maori elders, received financial reparation for having unfairly lost their lands. In 1995 the New Zealand government offered to establish a 1 billion NZ dollar fund to make up for the loss of their lands. But it was rejected, and accused of being poorly. It provoked many young Maori, and lead to threats and trampling of the New Zealand flag. In 1996 the government took a big step and apologized to a Maori tribe for taking their land and for hanging their chief 131 years earlier.
The Maori are also known as a very talented and hardworking people, they are the best teachers, the best farmers, the best mechanics and the best sheepshearers. Many white from New Zealand (the Pakeha) claims to have more Maori blood then they actually have. But The Maori still have problems with racial discrimination, within the system and among the people. The Maori's situation have been improved, but there is still a big different in culture. And that can often cause conflicts.
MAORI ART TODAY
Many types of Maori art are being brought back, like sculpture, dance, songs etc by young Maori today. The Kaupapa (meaning): " It becomes a demand for identity. It is a personal choice, totally unrelated to ancient religious or traditional obligations. Of major value in the reconstitution of the Polynesian identity, the motives are modernized, freed of the strictures of tradition, and one sees intermingled Marquesan, Samoan and Maori styles."(Gotz, speaking of the story in Tahiti.) Also music from earlier generations of the Maori has begun to be popular with the young Maori and European descendants. The Maori's self-esteem has the past years flourished in step with their culture and status.
THEIR LIVING SITUATION TODAY