The kōhanga reo example is a reminder that Māori education is too important to fall victim to partisan battles.
“I do not advocate for the natives under present circumstances a refined education or high mental culture … they are better calculated to get their living by manual than by mental labour.” – Henry Taylor, school inspector, 1862
This was the beginning of 150 more years of non-Māori deciding they know what’s best for Māori education. It was also the beginning of a sad intergenerational decline in fluent speaking of te reo Māori. A sadness that I, and many like me, carry with us today.