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‘Change Is Inevitable’: King Tuheitia

25 Poutuu-te-rangi 2014

‘Change Is Inevitable’: King Tuheitia

Kiingi Tuheitia believes change is inevitable for Te Kohanga Reo and has called on representatives of the movement to attend a hui at Tuurangawaewae Marae next month, to give the leadership and the people an opportunity to discuss concerns and chart a way forward.

The hui, called for the 11, 12 and 13 of April, is likely to see major changes to the structure of Kohanga Reo unveiled for discussion.

However, Kiingi Tuheitia is mindful that any proposals for change must ultimately have the support of the people, if they are to endure. Likewise, calls for radical change need to be assessed carefully. The Kohanga movement is not broken and nor should it feel the need to respond in a knee-jerk fashion to accusations made by people who are not in possession of the facts.

The movement must maintain control over its own destiny.

In anticipation of the national hui, Kiingi Tuheitia has already met with the Waikato Kohanga Reo, along with the Maataatua and Tauranga-moana Kohanga Reo. He also recently met with senior members of the Kohanga Reo National Trust in Auckland.

Kiingi Tuheitia remains confident and supportive of both the kaupapa, and the movement. He paid tribute to the people who have nurtured Kohanga Reo through the last 32 years. The King, like his mother, the late Queen Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu before him, is a passionate and committed advocate for the Kohanga movement.

The Kohanga Reo National Trust was formed 32 years ago, and since then tens of thousands of ‘tamariki’, and their whanau, have had Te Reo Maaori rekindled in their minds and hearts in hundreds of kohanga around the motu. At its peak there were over 800 kohanga and more than 14,000 tamariki.

Mindful of the need for change, Te Kohanga Reo National Trustees have been working on ways to change the structure for four years, at the hui they will be looking for input from whaanau.

They have carried this kaupapa from its birth, through the difficult years of its development from last century to this one. Their contribution has been enormous and we are all grateful for that. We only have to look at the tens of thousands of young Maaori and their whaanau confident in their reo and in themselves, to know how successful they’ve been.

Kiingi Tuheitia was looking forward to the hui and to a more stable future for Kohanga Reo.


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