Singing taniwha helping children around the country learn te reo during Māori Language Week

Six Te Reo Māori-singing Mahi Pai Taniwha are on a mission to get kids across the country using te reo.

Children are at the centre of Te Reo Māori revitalisation efforts during Maori Language Week. Source: 1 NEWS

The taniwha are played by Waiuku College students and they’re a hit with the tamariki – though it’s certainly hot work.

"Oh yeah man it's cool, I love bringing the happiness to the children when they see our taniwha every time we perform it's crazy I love it," 17-year-old Lyzann Tara said.

"So we have a schedule so after two or three songs we come out for a five minute break and we just hydrate cool down," she said.

Mahi Pai Creative Director Lisa Simperingham says the new initiative is a good way for children to learn.

"We all know that our children learn best when they are happy, when the taniwha come out the children laugh and the beautiful thing is it's all in te reo," Ms Simperingham said.

Language experts are pushing for Mahi Pai to reach more eyeballs, through digital platforms like children's streaming site Hei Hei.

"Times are changing in line with the digital age, and the Māori language must be online as well, or it will be left behind," Māori Language Commission CEO Ngahiwi Apanui said.

The Waiku College students-turned-taniwha are benefiting just as much as the tamariki.

"The students are blooming doing this work," Waiuku College Te Reo Head of Department Piki Jakeman said.