Thirty six years ago Ngoingoi Pewhairangi and Dame Te Heikoko Mataira developed a language revitalisation programme of te reo Maori. They entwined "The Silent Way" method together with Maori values and customs, to create Te Ataarangi, a holistic learning Maori language pedagogy.

The "Silent Way" method was developed by Caleb Gattegno using cuisenaire rods and spoken language as the tools of teaching and learning language acquisition. The method focused on aural, visual and oral learning.

The introduction of the "Te Ataarangi" methodology encouraged Te Heikoko and Ngoi to gather a group of native te reo Maori speakers living in Wellington.

This group consisted of female teachers, male freezing workers and others from different walks of life. Utilising Te Ataarangi they were taught the Fijian language as a trial to learn a second language. Many of them returned to their homes, their communities and workplaces to teach Te Ataarangi.

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In 1980, the first Hui Whanau Whanui was held in Mangatu to create a platform by which to carry the Maori language into the future by means of Te Ataarangi and to form an Incorporated Society. Today, more than 50,000 students later, Te Runanga o Te Ataarangi is a national entity consisting of 11 regions throughout New Zealand and Australia. One of these regions is Te Tairawhiti, from Lottin Point on the East Coast to Central Hawke's Bay with branches at Tokomaru Bay, Turanganui-a-Kiwa, Te Wairoa and Heretaunga.

Te Ataarangi is not a new programme within Heretaunga, its history stems back to the 1980s to the time of Canon Wi Te Tau Huata. A staunch supporter of the programme, Canon Wi Te Tau is acknowledged in each class by students reciting, learning and acquiring the opening and closing prayers he contributed to the curriculum. Tutors of our history include Waipa Te Rito, Jim Whaanga, Te Rurehe John Rangihau, Alex-Ann Edwards, Leoni Turi and others.

Our boundaries extend from Napier to Takapau. Recently, Heretaunga was fortunate to welcome "Te Taonga o Te Ataarangi" to our region. Te Taonga is a carved waka huia gifted by Te Whanau a Ruataupare in memory of the late Ngoi Pewhairangi to uphold the essence and purpose of Te Ataarangi - "kia kore koe e ngaro taku reo rangatira".

Each year, Te Taonga travels throughout a region of Te Ataarangi.

Te Tairawhiti has the honour of hosting the annual Hui Whanau Whanui o Te Ataarangi 2015 in October at Pukemokimoki marae, Napier.

Maori translation:

Kia kore koe e ngaro taku reo rangatira

Kua hipa i te toru tekau ma ono tau, mai i te whakaritetanga a Ngoingoi Pewhairangi raua ko te Kahurangi Te Heikoko Mataira i tenei tumomo hotaka whakaako reo Maori. I ata rarangangia e raua te kaupapa o te 'Silent Way', nga tikanga me nga ahuatanga o te ao Maori, a, ka puta mai ko Te Ataarangi.

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Ko te 'The Silent Way' a Caleb Gattegno, e whakamahi ana i nga rakau hei awhina i te akonga ki te korero, ki te ako hoki i te reo. Ko te mea nui i tenei momo ako, ko te whakarongo, ko te kite a-karu nei me te körero.

I te wa i timatahia Te Ataarangi, i kohikohingia etahi e matau ana ki te reo, ratau e noho ana i Te Whanganui-a-Tara. I reira nga wahine, etahi he kaiwhakaako, nga tane o te whare patu kararehe, me etahi atu. I whakaako a Katerina ki a ratau, te reo o Whiti mai i nga rakau, kia mohio ai ratau pehea ana te tangata mehemea e ako ana a ia i tetahi atu reo. Ka hoki atu ratau i kohikohingia ki o ratau kainga, o ratau hapori, o ratau wahi mahi hoki ki te whakaako i Te Ataarangi.

I te tau 1980, ka whakaturia Te Ataarangi hei Manatopu ki te hui tuatahi a Te Ataarangi, i Mangatu. Inaianei, rahi ake i te rima tekau mano nga akonga, a, kua tu Te Runanga o Te Ataarangi hoki. Tekau ma tahi nga rohe mai i Te Hiku o te Ika tae noa ki Te Waipounamu, ki Ahitereiria hoki. Ko tetahi o nga rohe nei, ko Te Tairawhiti. Ka timata tenei rohe i Wharekahika i te raki, tae noa ki Tamatea i te tonga.

Kua timata noa atu Te Ataarangi i roto o Heretaunga i te wa o Wi Te Tau Huata. Koia tetahi i tautoko i te kaupapa nei, a, nana hoki i hoatu nga karakia e whakamahia ana e te ropu nei. I roto i nga tau ko etahi atu o nga kaiwhakaako ko Waipa Te Rito, ko Hemi (Jim) Whaanga, ko Te Rurehe John Rangihau, ko Alex-Ann Edwards, ko Leoni Turi me etahi atu. Ka timata te peka o Heretaunga i Ahuriri ka mutu i Takapau.

Katahi ano ka tae mai te Taonga o Te Ataarangi ki waenganui i a tatau o konei. He waka huia te taonga nei hei whakamaumaharatanga ki a Ngoingoi Pewhairangi, a, ko te taonga nei kei te pupuri i te mauri o Te Ataarangi, kia tutuki pai te whakatauki ' Kia kore koe e ngaro, taku reo rangatira.' Ko te mahi a te taonga nei ko te huri haere i nga rohe ki te whakakaha, ki te whakakotahi i taua rohe e whakatu ana i te Hui Whanau Whanui. Kua riro mai i Te Tairawhiti taua honore ki te manaaki i te Hui Whanau Whanui a te mutunga o Whiringa-a-nuku i tenei tau, i te marae o Pukemokimoki i Maraenui.