Te Kōhanga Reo is about whānau working together to revitalise and strengthen te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.
Te Kōhanga Reo means 'the language nest' where we care and nurture our young (birth to 6 years of age) in a warm and secure environment alongside the whānau. Tamariki in Kōhanga are totally immersed in the Māori language, customs and values.
Te Kōhanga Reo is a movement which works to build rich language and cultural spaces alongside whānau. Whānau are involved in their children's learning and the operations of the Kōhanga Reo.
Te Kōhanga Reo remains critical to the revitalisation of the Māori nation. As we look to the future for ways to sustain Te Aō Māori, Kōhanga Reo is an exciting and ever-evolving way to grow our future generations.
The first Kōhanga Reo, Pukeatua, opened on the 13 April 1982 and since then over 50,000 children have attended a Kōhanga Reo. Many of those children are now parents of the second generation of Kōhanga Reo children.
“Thank you for taking care of our tamariki. For helping to grow generations of reo speakers. To all our kaiako and kaimahi, thank you for the many hours of blood, sweat and tears you have given to support the kaupapa. To the founders of the movement, the leaders, the nannies, the aunties, the mothers, fathers and cousins – thank you all. You kept true to the movement and we, as Māori, are better today than we were yesterday because of your commitment.”
(Hon Kelvin Davis, May 2019. Post Budget speech)