With Maori education, television and radio firmly established in New Zealand it’s hard to believe that just twenty years ago Maori feared the language would be lost forever.
In 1982 a kohanga reo – Maori language nest – was opened at Pukeatua Marae in Wainuiomata – it was the first of it’s kind, a grassroot initiative that put toddlers to the forefront of the push to save the language. Barely out of nappies, these children and thousands that followed throughout the country, were Maoridom’s hope for the future.
In Documentary New Zealand’s ‘Kohanga Kids’ we meet seven of the originals – kohanga kids that were signed up by parents who were non-speakers of te reo, parents who were told that speaking Maori could diminish future opportunities for their children.
Still, they chose to commit to themselves and their children – it was a choice that changed their lives.
How did kohanga reo effect these children as they grew into adults? Did it benefit their lives as adults or would their lives have been the same regardless?
An urban born professional, Hariata Paki set up her own kohanga reo in suburban Hamilton. Her third son, Te Rurehe was the kohanga baby. Through videotaped footage we are given a unique glimpse at his preschool routine – prayer, storytelling, songs and kapa haka.
We follow seven inspiring individuals. Young adults who as toddlers were part of social experiment that not only changed their lives but the lives of their whanau, and the fabric of our society.
Promotional TrailerComing soon
Producer: Wendyl Nissen
Exec producer: Irene Gardiner
Network exec: Jude Callen
Director: Debra Rewiti
Sub Titles: Tiraroa Reweti
Audio Post: Terry Murphy
Online Editor: Hamish Hill
Offline Editor: Glen Molesworth
Production manager: Kate Creswell
Production coordinator: Bronwyn Bezuidenhout
Camera: Trudy Lewis, Maringi Houkamau, Paul Richards, Norton Issacs
Sound: Hera Ngata-Gibson, Phil Cusabs, Craig O’Reilly, Craig Perry
Narrator: Lawrence Wharerau
Financial controller: Glenda Paterson
Production accountant: Liz Goddard
Funded by: New Zealand on Air and TVNZ