Due to the breakdown of the Department of Māori Affairs, Kōhanga Reo were mainstreamed to the Ministry of Education.
Subject to the new licensing criteria, and with the Kōhanga Reo desire to acess quality funding through Ministry, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust formalised a framework where individual kōhanga reo chartered to the Trust Board, and the Trust Board chartered with the Ministry on behalf of kōhanga reo. This included the development of Te Korowai, which was signed by both organisations on 2nd October, 1995.
Te Korowai articulated the principles, policies, goals, practices from the supporting documents based on Te Peka Matua (1982),Ngā tirotirotanga a te Whānau Wānanga (1982/1983), Ngā Mahi a te Whānau Wānanga (Blue Book Syllabus1984) and Te Whāriki a Te Kōhanga Reo. The five guiding principles and four kaupapa statements espouse the kaupapa of Te Kōhanga Reo movement.
The four kaupapa statements (Te Korowai, p.3) are also known as 'Ngā Pou e Whā', the four pou of the Whare Kōhanga. These are
Total immersion in te reo Māori in the Kōhanga Reo daily operations
Whānau decision-making, management and responsibility
The health and wellbeing of the mokopuna and the whānau
Each Kōhanga Reo organise wānanga and discuss, design and develop their Tūtohinga (Charter) based on the four pou and the twelve goals of Te Korowai. The Tūtohinga is then approved by the Trust Board and cements the Kōhanga Reo whānau commitment to the revitalisation of te reo, tikanga and āhuatanga Māori (the language, customs, values and traditions of the Māori culture).
The Kōhanga Reo whānau regularly review the kaupapa and regulatory policies and practices in their Tūtohinga as a part of good kaupapa practice.
Te Ara Tūāpae is the Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board 25 year strategic plan and was developed after consultation with the kōhanga whānau and kaumātua across the country. Twenty Five years was set as the timeframe (2008 - 2033), this being equivalent to approximately one generation. The Board then reviews the progress of the movement in relation to the revitalisation of te reo Māori and state of whānau development. It sets out achievable goals that enable whānau to reach their dreams and aspirations.
Te Ara Tūāpae provides 3 clear areas of focus that support whānau development, through the Māori language, by building family relationships as well as strengthening the philosophy of Kōhanga reo.
Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust designed Te Ara Tuāpae strategically to connect all levels of the Kōhanga reo movement to a single vision. Te Ara Tūpae can be adapted by individual Kōhanga reo as the pathway to achieving goals and setting new goals.
Vision Statement: The pursuit of excellence in
- Ko te Reo Kia tika - Quality language
- Ko te Reo kia rere - Promotion of language any time and every place
- Ko te Reo kia Māori – Let the language reflect the ethos of who we are as a people.
Te Whāinga: The Mission
Whānau cherish your children, breastfeed them the words of our ancestors, nurture them within our culture, so they may grow strong as ambassadors for the family, extended family and tribe.
Ko te whakamana i te Reo me ngā Tikanga
He oha nā mua , he oha mā tai
“Ko ngā whakareretanga iho mai a kui mā, a koro mā hei kawenga mā ngā whakareanga, ngā whakatipuranga ka whai mai.” 19 May 2008 Te Wharehuia Milroy
The wealth of knowledge held by our elders is passed on to the next generation to ensure the legacy of a future is secure.
Ko te whakamana i te mokopuna me te whānau
Kei taka te para o ō mātua tīpuna
“Do not abandon the gifts bequeathed to you by your ancestors” 19 June 2008 Timoti Karetu
Ko te whakamana i te kaupapa
Ko au koe, Ko koe au
I am you , you are me, what I would want for myself I also want for you
Māori achievement must be replaced by the power and energy of a people mobilised by their collective vision for the future and committed to achieving it. Whanau development provides the model for the empowerment of the kōhanga reo whanau.
Ref; Govt Review Team 1988, 22