16 Oct 2017
A small rural school is one of five learning Mandarin to help celebrate Chinese Language Week.
'It's really cool' – small Tokoroa school embracing Mandarin lessonsPlay Video02:03
Tainui Primary School is more than 11,000km away from China, but that hasn't stopped them embracing the language and culture. Source: 1 NEWS
Tainui Full Primary School in Tokoroa has been learning Mandarin for the past year.
Its principal, Tania Morrison, says, "embracing Mandarin is important, especially in the 21st century".
And her students agree.
Dennis Fuapau says he practises speaking the language on his mum when he gets home, and says it's "good learning new things".
Kiwis are being encouraged to learn a new phrase each day during the week.
Rosie Andrews, a classroom teacher, says those who are confident in Te Reo Maori "pick it up a lot easier".
More than 147,000 people living in New Zealand speak Mandarin, and it's estimated 200,000 Chinese call New Zealand home.