A Labour Government will encourage learning and the use of te reo in schools to ensure more children have the opportunity to learn the language, the Labour Party says.

The party announced its Te Reo Rangatira policy in Auckland today.

It wanted to both "celebrate and safeguard" the language, and would do so by providing opportunities to promote it as a living expression of indigenous identity, Maori Affairs spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta said.

"Te reo Maori is a taonga," she said.


"Teachers proficient in te reo Maori and who are able to teach across the school curriculum have Labour's full support.

"We recognise that hapu and iwi are increasingly committed to their own strategies and plans for te reo Maori. Labour will work in partnership with those aspirations to advance a fully endorsed Maori Language Strategy."

Labour would continue to make improvements across the public sector that would raise the capability and accessibility of te reo Maori, she said.

"As an official language Labour recognises te reo Maori is an important doorway to a greater appreciation for heritage languages and the aspirations of a more multicultural society."