By the 1980s fewer than five per cent of Māori schoolchildren spoke Te Reo Māori fluently.
Parents decided that the best way to nurture the language was to set up language nests for young children.
Kohanga Reo have been a driving force behind the regeneration of te reo since the first one opened almost 40 years ago.
It was the catalyst needed to launch the very first full immersion Māori school in West Auckland in 1985.
The success of Kohanga Reo was such that by 1994 there were 800 Kohanga Reo catering for more than 14,000 children.