Encouraging whānau to use te reo Māori with their pēpi.

Tōku reo, tōku ohooho – My language, my awakening.

(From Te Pihinga 1 page 14)

Share the whakataukī and ask whānau:

  • What are your thoughts about the meaning of this whakataukī?

Nurturing te reo Māori

This might be a good opportunity to talk with whānau about having two languages in their home, particularly if they want to encourage the use of te reo Māori with their pēpi.

Words, language, voices, music, and waiata all contribute to the ‘awakening’ that occurs as pēpi becomes more aware of the people and the world around them.

  • What have you noticed about how pēpi reacts to various sounds, voices and languages around them?
  • What sort of learning do you think is happening?

Page 17 includes whānau talking about the many ways they nurture their family’s reo, and how pēpi benefits.

Opportunities to hear te reo Māori

Pages 19 and 20 encourage whānau to expose pēpi to te reo Māori from a very young age. The information on page 20 may be new to whānau.

  • Does your pēpi have opportunities to hear te reo spoken regularly?
  • How important is that to you?
  • What sort of opportunities?

Pēpi has heard voices and rhythms for a few months now. Even before birth, pēpi could hear māmā’s voice and her heartbeat and feel the rhythm of her moving and walking.

  • How does pēpi react to music?
  • Or whānau singing?
  • Or being gently rocked or carried by someone walking?

Every bit is precious

Talk about the last line on page 20, 'kia kaha te kōrero Māori – ahakoa he iti, he pounamu'.


  • Do you recognise this whakataukī from Te Kākano?
  • 'Although it is small it is precious like greenstone.' What do you think this might be referring to?

Maybe it’s saying that even if we only speak a little reo, it’s still precious – it’s still important.

We can be encouraged by the thought that te reo is a gift. We don’t have to be a fluent speaker to be able to pass on that gift.

Te hinengaro mīharo on page 2, explains how babies learn language and how important listening and watching is to their ability to learn. Te reo Māori is embedded in the culture, pēpi is learning the culture and te reo together.

  • We are given a good reason to kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi.
  • Active listening is respectful and effective.

How does this relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Tāruatia taku reo – Copy my sounds

Six things children need – Talking and Listening – Te kōrero me te whakarongo

Helpful resources for whānau