Topic: Te Reo Māori

Kahungunu Kura Reo reaches five-year milestone

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast
Te Kura Reo o Ngāti Kahungunu 2017 - Image / File

Kahungunu Kura Reo numbers has doubled since starting their first one five years ago, and now with the new addition of a holiday programme for children, this year marks the biggest year to date. 

"What I like is that I'm able to bring my children here, they are both kōhanga reo age, so I thought that I would bring them so that they can see how other people converse here in Kahungunu," says father Tama Kirikiri.

It's the first time that Kahungunu has offered a children's holiday programme, freeing up the parents to attend class.

"For the majority of them this is the only time they get to be around other people that speak Māori so it makes me very happy to see the kids here to listen to the likes of Te Manahau, Timoti, Te Haumihiata, Te Korou, Petera and Kingi, those are the types of people they'll be learning from," says Jeremy MacLeod, kura reo organiser.

This year there were 214 people in attendance including more than 20 kōhanga reo reps from around the wider Hawke's Bay region.

"Kahungunu has really put in the effort to turn the tide on their Māori language, with a number of people that are here and that's because of Jeremy's encouragement, if it wasn't for him the kura reo wouldn't be where it is today, so Kahungunu should be thankful to him and the amount of Kahungunu youth that are here to support the revitalisation of their language should also be acknowledged," says Māori language exponent Timoti Karetu.

"It's awesome, most of us are all friends and we're all the same age and same language ability so it's good to be able to grow together," says Te Aute Head Boy Tauawhi Bonilla.

The language school runs for one week and has some of the best language exponents in the country as tutors and is held at Te Uranga Waka EIT in Taradale.