Wednesday March 21, 2018   Last updated 08:30AM

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Greens keen on te reo for all

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Greens leader James Shaw says any languages policy needs to give priority to te reo Maori rather than lump it in with other tongues.

National is promising a $160 million investment to give all primary school children the opportunity to learn a second language, if they choose.

The policy has been criticized for lack of specifics and for undermining he crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi to protect and restore the Maori language,

Mr Shaw says the Greens says te reo must be the starting point.

"If we are truly ever to have a proper bi-cultural nation and honour Te Tiriti we need to understand each other's culture and culture is contained in language. I think it's important for the future of our country for everyone to learn te reo all the way through their schooling and then I think we should be talking about other languages as well, but I don't think they should be lumped in togehter the way the National Party have suggested," he says.

Mr Shaw says learning a second language will make learning other languages easier.


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