Pono ki te kaupapa, Puna ko te reo.

“Be true to the kaupapa and the language will flourish”

The kaupapa is such that there is a highly active desire throughout the world to setup Kōhanga Reo. At present we have Kōhanga Reo in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth,  London and Japan.

There are over 11,700 people who speak te reo Māori in Australia according to the 2018 Census.  Te Ataarangi in Melbourne is popular with adult students with about 80 people studying. Rachel Kelly from Ngāti Toa Rangatira, who has been living abroad for the last 10 years is one of these students.

"I was just feeling sort of disconnected from home and the more roots I put down in Melbourne the more I realised that I needed to make some changes in my lifestyle to get that connection and identity and that culture [and] bring that back into my life."

She also realised that if she didn't learn the reo, her tamariki would never know it.

Therefore it is not surprising to hear that Māori living in Australia are wanting to know if there are any Kōhanga Reo for their children and where they are located.  

There are currently 6 Kōhanga Reo that the Trust knows of and these are based in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust is interested in knowing about, recording and liaising with whānau that are establishing a Kōhanga Reo outside of New Zealand. Contact [email protected]

Te Reo Puawai, Melbourne, Wyndham Park Community Centre, Railway Avenue,  Werribee, Victoria

 A new kōhanga reo in Melbourne, Australia has been established. Te Reo Puawai runs two days a week, and is free, thanks to funding from the local city council ( Interview – Te Karere  Dec 2012).

Te Waka Wairua established 2003

Te Kōhanga o Te Waka Wairua are educating the reo and tikanga Māori to Māori who live in Victoria. It’s been running for more than 10 years, however, it still faces quite a few challenges in progressing forward (Interview Te Karere 2017)


Postal Address 29 Victoria Road, 2564 Macquarie Fields, New South Wales, Australia Sydney.  Opens on Fridays.


Te Kōhanga Ēkara, Eagleby, Brisbane.  The Kōhanga is full time and is also part of the Mulberry Bush daycare centre.  There are plans for Kōhanga Ēkara to expand across Australia. In the meantime, the kōhanga is preparing children should they one day be called back home to their marae. 

Te Kōhanga Reo Ote Whenua Hou, 60 – 62 Delaware Street, Geebung, Brisbane.  Geebung is surrounded by the suburbs of Chermside, Wavell Heights and Aspley and is approximately 1hr from the Gold Coast, 30 mins from Logan, 1hr from the Sunshine Coast and 30mins from Redcliffe/Caboolture  [email protected]

Kiwi Kids.   49 Wembley Road, Logan Central, Queensland, Australia  Kiwi Kids exists to provide premier childcare services that are aimed at enhancing traditional day care methodologies (in accordance to state and national regulations) and integrating the bilingual program.

We envision the Kohanga Reo program to initiate Maori development among all who are willing to learn within a cultural framework. These key philosophies involve our young children, family, and their cultural infrastructure of language, kinship, relationship management, family learning and family decision making.  Facebook Page. –

Kaua Te Rangi Tuhura (Minister of the Church) stated that a Kōhanga Reo is needed in Perth, 2014.  Manawa Mai Tawhiti, a traditional Maori Performing Arts club, has received many queries interested in a Kōhanga Reo (2013, 2014). Several Kōhanga Reo may be in development stages.

Tom Price Township  A 15-hour drive from Perth, in the Pilbara region, is a small mining town called Tom Price, and probably the last place you would expect a kōhanga reo.

But every Friday, 17 tamariki meet for Te Kohanga Reo iti o Tame Utu - the little language nest of Tom Price.

Ani Werahiko from Ngāi te Rangi, and Ngāti Ranginui, or Nana Ani, as the tamariki know her as, is the wahine behind the kōhanga.

"We have taken the seeds from home, Aotearoa, and we have come here seeking jobs and a better lifestyle and we've planted our seeds from home here in Tom Price."

Many of the tamariki Nana Ani teaches are second-generation Australians, and kōhanga is the only time they speak te reo, or practice tikanga.

Rānana, London.  New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, SW1Y 5, London, United Kingdom

Te Kohanga Reo o Rānana is a London language and culture school that encourages children and their parents to speak Te Reo Māori.

Te Kohanga Reo o Rānana was established in October 1997 under the auspices of the Ngati Ranana Maori Culture Club. Te Kohanga Reo o Ranana was set up by a very dedicated and committed group of parents.

Te Kōhanga Reo o Nakagami. Rugby is strong in the whakapapa of the Ellison brothers, their great-great grand uncle Thomas Rangiwahia Ellison was the first rugby captain to wear the silver fern.  

All the brothers are currently playing for the Kurita rugby club in Japan and in the interest of making sure their tamariki have te reo Māori, they have created their own kōhanga reo. 

The name of this kōhanga reo is Te Kōhanga reo o Nakagami. “It’s the name of the area we live in, in Akishima,” says Leon Ellison. 

“I was raised in Te Ao Māori and naturally, I want my children to experience this world even though we’re living abroad,” says Leon’s wife Rongorito Ellison. 

For 7-months Leon and Rongorito have been running their Kōhanga from out of their home. 

“We try and do everything a Kōhanga reo in Aotearoa would do like karakia, waiata, mōteatea and mihimihi,” says Leon. 

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) contains 46 articles that stipulate their rights as peoples. It states amongst many areas the right of indigenous peoples to self determination, enjoyment of life, freedom, peace and security, mana whenua, and practice and revitalise their cultural traditions and customs, their spirituality and their language.

Indigenous cultures across the world share common struggles and aspire to similar goals such as their language, the bond to their land and the wellbeing of their people past, present and future.  The retention of the language, customs, traditions and the land is an important aspect of their spirituality.  

Te Kōhanga Reo was started in 1982, by the people and lead by the elders as a movement to revitalise these important aspects such as the Māori language, customs and traditions and the empowerment of whānau.  It was quickly followed by other indigenous cultures such as the Pasifika peoples residing in Aotearoa and those across the world.

Te Kōhanga Reo and its kaupapa has been instrumental in contributing to Indigenous Peoples of the world setting up similar services in their native language – Hawaiians, Canadian Indians, Inuit, American Indians, Tahitian, and Soweto to name a few.

The TKRNT was represented at the UNESCO Sub Regional Conference on Education, Culture and Identity, held in Rarotonga in the early 1990’s. This conference was a forum for indigenous people from throughout the South Pacific. The Chief Executive of the Trust, Mrs Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, and a kaumātua of the Board, Te Ao Pehi Kara, represented the Trust. The model for change that the Kōhanga Reo National Trust presented to the conference, based on the revitalisation of an indigenous ancestral language and culture, in the context of whanau based learning, had a major impact.

In recent years a number of the nations of the South Pacific have adopted the Kōhanga Reo model for use in this country. Samoan, Tokelauan, Cook Island Maori, Tongan and Fijian language nests are operational in Aotearoa.  Hawaii have Punana Leo and small groups were started in Soweto after Nelson Mandela’s daughter visited the Trust.  

Insert photo of Nelson Mandela’s daughter and Nanny Topsy

These adaptions of the kohanga model are a testimony to the cross-cultural portability of the kohanga model. This cross-cultural portability speaks to the possibilities of the Kōhanga Reo model for change as an exemplar of global significance beyond the waters of the South Pacific.

Representatives from these countries have visited or discussed the Kōhanga Reo model and found the curriculum model, Te Whāriki a Te Kōhanga Reo, a useful framework for passing on their traditional knowledge to their children.  The indigenous peoples of Taiwan and Rapanui have been recent opportunities for sharing cultural models.  

Representatives from Te Kōhanga Reo have also visited these countries and forged strong relationships. Te Kōhanga Reo whānau often met indigenous nations at international conferences with the favourite being the World Indigenous People’s Conference in Education, WIPCE.

Since the first World Indigenous People’s Conference in Education was held in Canada in 1987, the TKRNT has played a continued role in these international forums. So strong was the impact of the kōhanga movement at the 1987 Conference that Aotearoa hosted the second Conference in 1990. The kōhanga movement have been well represented at all WIPCE Conferences.

Members of the Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board through to kaupapa kaimahi, and Kōhanga Reo whānau attended many international conferences. The World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) held every three years was/is the most popular conference. The following is a list of international conferences that Kōhanga Reo have attended. 

1987 - 1st  World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE - Vancouver, Canada.

1990 - 2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE - Ngaruawahia, New Zealand, hosted by Te Kōhanga Reo.

1993 - 3rd  World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE, Wollongong, Australia

1996 - 4th  World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE, Hawaii

1999 - 5th  World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE, New Mexico

2002 - 6th  World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE, Alberta, Canada

2005 - 7th World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE, Waikato, New Zealand

2008 - 8th World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE, Melbourne, Australia

2011 - 9th World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE, Cusco, Peru

2014 - 10th World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE, Honolulu, Hawaii

2017 - 11th World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education WIPCE - Toronto, Canada

Other International Conferences

1999 - First Transitions Seminar, Wellington.  Children’s Issues Centre. November.

2000  - World Forum on Early Care and Education, Singapore, 

2002 -  World Forum on Early Care and Education, Auckland, New Zealand

2003 -  United Nations Convention, New York, USA

2004  - Aboriginal Languages Conference First Nations Education Council, Manoir Saint-Sauveur, Canada

2008 -  United Nations Inaugural Convention on Education. Moscow, Russia

Keynote speeches delivered by representatives from Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust.  Can we create a link to these articles.  I know of six listed below, But I am still looking for more and can add them later. These papers do not need to be translated into Māori.

Black, T, Irwin, K. Marshall, P. 2003.   United Nations Convention, New York, USA - Archival Library- Ask Aubrey

Royal Tangaere, A. 2004.  I want to tell you a story.  Keynote address at the Aboriginal Languages Conference First Nations Education Council, Manoir Saint-Sauveur, Canada

Royal Tangaere, A. 1997.  Te Kōhanga Reo. More than a language nest. SET ECE Folio 3. Wellington, New Zealand Council Education Research.

Royal Tangaere, A. 1999.  He taonga te mokopuna.  Keynote address at First Transitions Seminar, Wellington.  Children’s Issues Centre. November.

Tawhiwhirangi, I. 2009. - Archival Library Ask Aubrey
Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, 1990. Rūnanga Tangata Whenua o te Ao. World Indigenous Peoples Conference - Education. New Zealand, Turangawaewae.