They were raised in Qatar but the only words Kiwi journalist Mereana Hond's twins have heard out of their māmā's mouth have been in te reo Māori.
Hond, of Taranaki iwi and Ngāti Ruanui, has worked at Al Jazeera for the past 10 years, living in Doha with husband Ben and their 5-year-old twins - a girl, Tapuwae, and a boy, Te Whetu Matarere.
But despite being thousands of miles from their tūrangawaewae, Hond wanted to ensure her tamariki had as much te ao Māori in their lives as practicable.
"It was a no-brainer," she tells the Herald from Doha.
"Because when we return to Taranaki, I want them to be free and confident in who they are, as Māori."
So since birth, Hond has spoken only in te reo Māori with them.
"The best way to learn is when you're young. I know they will get their English, as it is everywhere.
"And if we want the language to survive, and thrive, we need to be speaking it in the home."
Hond grew up in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), but her roots go back to Taranaki and Parihaka through her mother Pat, who was one of the first Māori policewomen, and who married her father, an Englishman called Jeff.
It was a "wonderful childhood" immersedin their Māori culture, but there were gaps, particularly around her reo.
This was in the 1970s, well before the first kohanga reo.
Her mother's was also the generation punished in school for speaking Māori, and its use in the home was still discouraged in favour of English.
The horrors of Parihaka remained relatively fresh, and discrimination was rife.
"They were still living with the impacts, the disempowerment, and restrictions on being Māori, being able to celebrate being Māori," Hond says.
Consequently, in her early years few Māori phrases were spoken at home.
Hond recalls, aged 6, being at Parihaka, and her koro asking her in Māori how she was.
She knew what he said, and how to respond, but the reo wouldn't come out of her mouth.
"I was just too whakamā, too embarrassed."
That moment stuck with her, providing a source of motivation through her life.
When she was about 10, her mother retrained at the University of Waikato, and re-embraced te reo Māori.
She sent all her children to Māori boarding schools, which at the time was the best way to get Māori medium education.
Hond attended St Joseph's Māori Girls' College boarding school in Napier, where her reo flourished.
She and her siblings all proceeded into Māori studies at university, and have all gone on to be immersed in te reo Māori and the revitalisation movement in their own ways.
Hond started in Māori studies - even teaching te reo - and law, before a career change in her early 30s to become a journalist, with a drive to give Māori a voice in mainstream media.
That same drive to tell important and powerful stories, took her to Al Jazeera in 2010, after several years at the Associated Press based in London, covering major stories all over the globe.
All those experiences as a child though influenced her decision to raise her tamariki with their reo.
"It doesn't matter where you are in the world, you can create a positive Māori speaking environment and that is really empowering," she says.
"It is not easy, but it is achievable."
Her husband, from Yorkshire, England, speaks a little te reo but mostly speaks in English with the twins.
Despite this, until they were about 3, their primary language was te reo.
"Then they had a really long holiday with family in Yorkshire, and switched to English.
"I was devastated at the time, but they are just kids and it was inevitable. But the intention is to have them in immersion school when we are in New Zealand, and I think they have what they need."
They intend to return to Aotearoa in the near future, with the aim of their tamariki being immersed in the language and culture of Taranaki.
"I knew who I was as a child, but would have loved to have been brought up in Taranaki," Hond says.
"Career-wise Auckland or Wellington would make sense, but at this stage in my life it is not about that, it is about them."
Everybody has a journey when it comes to te reo, says Hond, and her message for others it not to compare oneself to others.
"We all have a different journey, whether you are starting young or old.
"If it is to survive we need to be speaking it in the home, in the streets, creating environments where it is normal.
"The most important thing is that we are all getting into it. It is our language."