Not speaking te reo Māori fluently is not going to stand in the way of one Tauranga family's commitment to making the language stronger in the next generation.
The Watene-Waru whānau has decided to enrol their youngest child Olivia into a kura kaupapa next term to help the 6-year-old better connect with her culture and language.
Their decision, while not guided by this year's Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori theme, encapsulates what the language week is preaching: Kia Kaha te Reo Māori - Let's make the Māori language strong.
Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori starts todayand ends on Sunday.
Mum Sarah Watene said her two older children, Ciera, 9, and Capri, 13, were doing well in alternative schooling at a Waldorf Steiner school but Olivia was at an age where transitioning to a full Māori immersion school would be easier.
"We want her to know the language. She's got a good grasp of what will be involved in going to a kura kaupapa and is looking forward to being in a class where they speak Māori.
"Already in our everyday lives and at home we try teach our children about the customs and encourage the use of the language so what Olivia is taught at the kura will build on that.
"My parents live in Ruatoki and they speak fluent te reo Māori and are staunch with tradition so we visit them every other weekend, getting the children involved in marae activities and Māori tikanga."
Watene said she did part of her schooling in a kura kaupapa and hoped, with her daughter becoming fluent in the language, she too would be able to benefit by refreshing her knowledge of the language.
According to the most up to date figures from the 2013 census, 39,460 people in the Bay of Plenty are keeping te reo Māori strong.
Of that, there were 6828 speakers in Rotorua, 5043 in Whakatāne, 4329 in Tauranga, 2472 in Taupō, 2157 in the Western Bay of Plenty, 1752 in Ōpōtiki and 1110 in Kawerau.
In Tauranga, 83.5 per cent of residents, based on the 2013 census, are European, compared with 74 per cent nationally, while Māori make up 17.1 per cent of the city's population, compared with 14.9 per cent nationally.
Waiariki MP Tāmati Coffey said his personal view was that not enough was being done to revitalise te reo Māori.
"To reduce the revitalisation of the language to one week a year, particularly for an official language of New Zealand, is a disservice.
"For the reo to become more widely used we need not only Māori to be immersed in it but our non-Māori counterparts to pick it up and do it too."
He said if a te reo policy was created by the government, the process of revitalising te reo Māori would move more quickly.
"Make it a core subject in all schools. Embrace it as something all Kiwi children should learn.
"But in order for that to work, the workforce needs to be there. We need to ensure before any policy is created that we are setting it up for success and there is a desire among the community to teach our tamariki."
Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said he had noticed a nationwide trend of more people making an effort to learn and use the language.
"It's always good to broaden people's language base. New Zealand is unique in that many people only know how to speak one language. You go to Europe and you'll find many people know three or four languages.
"I do think things are changing, even listening to the radio you hear the Māori language being used more often and I've noticed more people using Māori phrases. I have no evidence to back this up but there's a feeling in New Zealand that there are more people who have an understanding of the language and culture."