'Whakarongo' was composed at Pākirikiri marae in Tokomaru Bay by Ngoi Pēwhairangi, who later adapted it for Māori-language teaching programme Te Ataarangi. In 1995 the Māori Language Commission made 'Whakarongo' the official waiata for the Year of the Māori Language. The song's theme is the value of the Māori language and the importance of its transmission to future generations.
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