After Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori last year the owner of one Rotorua childcare centre saw life return to normal and realised te reo didn't need to stop because the week was over.

At the Ole Schoolhouse, He kura tawhito, te reo has become a part of daily life and owner Eric Hollis said this year they were working hard to incorporate it.

"Every child who's not Māori still has the right to hear and to learn te reo.

"We have managed to include a lot of books in te reo and we use a lot of cultural symbols throughout the centre."


On the walls, there is a whare, where children hang photographs of their whānau, tukutuku panels coloured by the children, and a kaitiaki hangs above the front door.

"We have words and phrases written up all over the place to remind us to use it," Hollis said.

They have phrases to remind children to wash their hands in the bathroom, "horoi o ringaringa" and in the kitchen with the words for different types of kai.

Hollis said the children had no issues picking up words in te reo and would often use them off their own bat.

"We sing a lot of our songs in te reo and they all understand.

"Children really don't have a problem with language, they pick it up really quickly and it's such a gateway into Māori culture."

Māori families whose children go to the centre have been helping make sure they get things right.

"The challenge is always to keep the momentum going, which is why we've taken it beyond Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori this year."