The Green Party has called for compuslory te reo Maori lessons for all school students up to year 10.
“The Green Party supports teaching te reo Maori to every New Zealand child and is committed to achieving it,” Green Party Maori development spokesperson Marama Davidson said.
Davidson said there was a responsibility to ensure that the Maori language “not just survives, but thrives in Aotearoa”.
Over recent decades te reo Maori has increased in popularity. However, data from 2013 showed that only 3.7 per cent of New Zealanders spoke te reo Maori and the percentage of Maori who can hold a conversation in te reo Maori is falling.
NZ Educational Institute president Lynda Stuart welcomed the policy, but said more government investment was needed if it was going to succeed.
“Te reo Maori should be a part of our everyday language, and taught as a key part of New Zealand’s curriculum,” she said.