More than 100 past and present pupils gathered in Lower Hutt on Wednesday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Te Kohanga Reo o Waiwhetu.
The Lower Hutt-based Maori language pre-school was one of the first kohanga reo to be established in 1982 with the aim of nurturing the language among pre-school children with the help of kaumatua leading the way.
A former pupil who now teaches at the kohanga, Te Rainga Heke, says the movement has had a major influence on his life and is still growing strongly with the next generation of Maori language speakers.
He says kohanga has played a big role in his life, his mother's and the rest of his extended whanau and is a big achievement for them.
Mr Heke says the Waiwhetu community has helped to grow the kohanga and it's an amazing feeling to know it's still thriving today.