The Green Party is pushing for te reo Māori to be a core curriculum topic in all schools by 2025.

The party launches the policy this morning for the start of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori/Māori Language Week, bringing forward its previous policy by five years, and would start working with the education sector to make it happen.

"Our vision of a bilingual nation will only be reached when all of us are comfortable and confident with te reo Māori," Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said.

Last year the Green Party launched a policy for te reo Māori to be a core curriculum subject in all public primary and secondary schools from Years 1 to 10 by 2030. This morning's announcement brought that timeframe forward five years.


Labour had a policy of making te reo Māori integrated into every child's learning by 2025, but the Greens wanted this taken a step further.

"We welcome this Government's aim to have comprehensive te reo in schools by 2025. The Green Party is leading the way towards making te reo a core curriculum subject."

The party's te reo policy was developed with Māori educators, language experts and the teacher unions, she said.

"Our next step is to work with leaders in the sector on the practicalities of making te reo Māori a core curriculum subject in all schools."

Previous governments had failed to take leadership on the issue, and deliver infrastructure for schools to properly deliver te reo, she said.

"This commitment to te reo needs to be fully supported by initiatives that increase teaching capability."

Associate education minister (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis said while Labour and the Green Party shared a vision of all New Zealanders speaking everyday te reo, its policy was more "realistic".

"Our policy is to make te reo Māori universally available and fully integrated by 2025, because our focus is making sure we have a realistic target.

"There's a real capacity issue with teachers and we simply can't increase the uptake of te reo if we don't have enough teachers."


The Government was focused on supporting teachers to use te reo in the classroom, including through the $13 million Te Ahu o Te Reo Māori package, announced in Budget 2018.

A further $20m was allocated in the Budget to increase the supply of teachers, including Māori medium and te reo Māori teachers, Davis said.

There were also several strategies being developed around boosting Māori education and reo capacity, including Maihi Karauna, the Government's strategy to support te reo Māori and aims to have one million Kiwis speaking basic te reo by 2040.