Waikato University Reo Professor Pou Temara says the Hawaiian and Maori languages face similar challenges of finding enough competent teachers, particularly at the early childhood level.
Professor Temara is in Hawaii at the moment, gauging language revitalisation projects there.
He told Waatea News the (lack of) knowledge of the teachers is one of the barriers in helping the language to grow.
"Teachers in Puna Leo are similar to those in Kohanga Reo, in that they aren't competent enough to be teaching the language," he said.
"So what happens is you get the young children speaking bad language and this is what's also happening in Kohanga Reo back home."