Nō te tau 1982, ka kitea te whakatūwheratanga o te Kohanga Reo tuatahi o te motu ki tōku haukāinga, ki Wainuiomata, Whanganui-a-Tara kia whakatutuki atu ai i ngā wawata me ngā moemoeā o ngā koro me ngā kui. Ko tōku māmā Maheno rātou ko ōku whanaunga, ko nanny Francis, ko Henrietta Maxwell, ko Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi ngā pouako o taua Kohanga nā rātou nei te purapura reo Māori i whakato mai ki roto i te whatumanawa o ngā tamariki nohinohi. Nō reira, nei rā te reo maioha atu ki a rātou mā e ora tonu ana, e mate anō hoki, moe mai rā. Tērā, nō muri mai i te whakatūwheratanga, arā, nō te tau 1983, ka toro atu te Kāhui Ariki o Ingārangi ki tēnei Kohanga Reo, arā, ko Charles te pirinihi tāne raua ko Diana te pirinihi wahine o Wales i a rāua e haereere mai ana tawhio noa atu i te takiwa o Poneke. Ko ngā whakaahua o taku kohikohinga e whai ake nei ka hopungia e te pepa kamupene ‘Evening Post’ e whakanui ana i taua toronga atu. Waimarie ahau ki te mātakitaki mai i tērā hui, he taiohi tonu au i taua wā. Atu i tēnei, tirohia te pakipūmeka mō Henrietta Maxwell ki YouTube i whakapāhōtia ai e Wakahuia mō āna mahi i roto i te Kohanga Reo. He māhita, he kaipupuri reo rangatira.
The year 1982 witnessed the inaugural opening of the first Kohanga Reo in New Zealand in my home town of Wainuiomata, Wellington as a realization in fulfilling the aspirations and dreams of the old people. My mother, Maheno and relatives nanny Francis, Henrietta Maxwell and Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi were the first teachers of that Kohanga who were instrumental in planting the language in the hearts of the children. I express my appreciation to those still living and those who have passed away, may they rest in peace. It was shortly after the opening in the following year of 1983, that the royal monarchy of England, Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales, visited our Kohanga Reo during their travels throughout the Wellington region. The following photos in my collection were taken by the Evening Post newspaper commemorating this historic visit. I was fortunate enough to have witnessed that event at which time I was a teenager. In addition, check out the documentary about Henrietta Maxwell at YouTube, which was broadcast by Wakahuia outlining her work in the Kohanga Reo movement. A teacher and preserver of the noble language.