This documentary tells the 25-year history of Kōhanga Reo, through the influential figure of Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi (a finalist for 2014 New Zealander of the Year). Kōhanga Reo is a world-leading educational movement which revitalised Māori language, “by giving it back to the children”. Unafraid to touch on controversy, director Tainui Stephens journeys from a time when students were punished for speaking Māori, to a world where they can have ‘total immersion’ schooling in te reo. The Qantas Award-nominated documentary debuted on Māori Television, and was invited to Canadian indigenous festival ImagineNATIVE.
It [te reo] is the voice of the people … it expresses the intellectual flow of ideas, it expresses the psyche of a people.– Tāmiti Reedy
Made with funding from NZ On Air