A kohanga reo teacher says the increase of primary and secondary Maori language immersion schools means pre-school tamariki have a better chance of strengthening their reo right throughout their schooling.
Michelle Sullivan is a kaiako (teacher) at Waiwhetu Te Kohanga Reo in Lower Hutt who has been teaching pre-school tamariki for more than 10 years.
She says before kura kaupapa and wharekura were set up, pre-schoolers were left with nowhere to go to after kohanga once they got to primary school.
In te reo she says in order for the language to survive children must be able to be nurtured in Maori right through out their schooling.
Hei tāna, kia maumahara ai, nā ngā mokopuna e mau tonu ai ki te reo Māori, ā, mai i reira tae noa atu ki te kura kaupapa Māori - he moemoeā ā tūpuna, ā mātua, ā rangatira me ngā tamariki hoki.
She says young children need to be able to grasp the Maori language right through to kura kaupapa, and beyond, which was the vision of the kaumatua who set up kohanga.