The New Zealand government wants the Maori language to be taught in all elementary schools along with mathematics and science, and the prime minister says he wants to be one of the last generations that was not taught.
Although I speak to you Maori is one of the three officially recognized languages in New Zealand, along with the English and sign language of New Zealand, it is not currently mandatory or taught in many schools.
Monday marked the beginning of Maori Language Week in New Zealand, an annual event that in recent years has received increasing attention from the media, businesses and politicians.
The Maori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, said in the AM Show that the government wanted the teo to be a "central issue" in the primary schools by 2025.
"The Maori language is one of the best ways to say & # 39; We are New Zealanders & # 39;" he said.
But with the current shortage of teachers on the subject, there was a "great challenge ahead".
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who wants to raise her daughter, Neve, who speaks Maori and English, told reporters that the language was "part of who we are as a country."
"I have the aspiration that my generation will be of the last generation to regret not having the opportunity to learn you Mao I reo in our journey of learning and education," he said.
"I am still, if it is not obvious, at the beginning of my trip to learn I speak Maori to you".
Government ministers have avoided using the word "mandatory", which has proven to be controversial in the past, in favor of "universal availability."
The primary teachers' union and the Green Party on Monday, however, asked the government to go one step further and teach resources in all classes.
While the use of Maori words and phrases is now common in New Zealand, the 2013 census figures suggested that some 50,000 people spoke it at a high level, while some 150,000 were colloquial.
The government wants to have one million residents speaking at a basic level by 2040.
There has also been a recent increase in interest in Maori courses for beginners across the country, and providers say they had to leave hundreds of people on waiting lists this year.