Project Report from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,0, University of Bayreuth, language: English, abstract: 'Language is the very life-breath of being M?ori' Looking at this quotation from the M?ori Language Commission the impression is created that language is the most important elixir for the M?oris and also their culture. However, is this elixir, Te Reo M?ori, still alive or has the English language suffocated it? With the colonisation of New Zealand by Great Britain the M?oris had to face several severe changes in their language use and their culture. These changes include, among other things, the shift in the language of communication from Te Reo M?ori to English and the displacement of M?ori tribes from their native land. Language death, and hence also cultural death, would have been the worst case. But with the help of the New Zealand Government Te Reo M?ori and the culture of the M?oris is experiencing a unique revival. Nevertheless, Te Reo M?ori has also had a permanent influence on the English language. It was most influential during the first years of colonisation and now again in the period of revitalisation. Similarly, other languages have had an influence on New Zealand English and particularly on the language situation in New Zealand. More than 180 languages have been spoken or understood by New Zealanders in 2006 and this number might have increased by now. In spite of this large number of languages being spoken or understood, hardly any policies for languages exist though a necessity for such a policy is more than present. The aim of this essay is to have a detailed look at the people of the M?ori and the influence they had on the English spoken in New Zealand as well as to analyse the current language situation, including existing language policies, in New Zealand. In order to do this, the people and the culture of the M?ori will be described at first and after that the influences Europeans had on the people of the M?ori and their language will be considered. Next, the influences of the M?ori and Te Reo M?ori on the English language, namely the development of M?ori English and the influences on the New Zealand English lexicon, will be examined. Finally, the current language situation in New Zealand will be presented including the most important, already enacted language policies (Aoteareo, M?ori Language Act and New Zealand Sign Language Act).