It's hard to imagine kids as young as 5 and 6, being beaten at school for speaking Māori but for a generation that was their harsh reality.
Former Māori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels is one from that generation who still feels the pain of his childhood and is looking for closure.
He's calling on the Government to apologise to all those brutally punished at school for speaking Te Reo Māori.
The impact of the Native Schools Act 1867 not only silenced those children, but subsequent generations of families whose language had been lost. Maiki Sherman brings us this story.