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Prime Minister kicks off Māori Language Week

Te Aniwa Hurihanganui, Te Manu Korihi Reporter

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says one of her biggest regrets is not learning how to converse in te reo Māori.

Prime MInister
Jacinda Ardern at Wellington High School today. Photo: RNZ/
Richard Tindiller

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Wellington High School today. Photo: RNZ/ Richard TindillerCaption goes here

Ms Ardern visited Wellington High School today to mark the start of Māori Language Week, and the questions were coming thick and fast from its students.

One of the 50 teenagers gathered at Taraika marae on the school grounds this morning asked if Ms Ardern thought there would ever be a prime minister that could speak Māori.

Ms Ardern said that was a realistic thought and she wished she could have been the first leader of the country to have that ability.

Jacinda Ardern at Wellington High School Photo: RNZ/ Richard Tindiller

Another student asked how te reo and tikanga would be a part in her daughter Neve Te Aroha's life.

"Clark and I have only had very early discussions - we're only 12 weeks in - but we've certainly got the books to be able to ensure that she's learning te reo even through her early story time," Ms Ardern said.

"But, yes, we'll have to have a discussion about how it is that we make sure that she has that access and learns a language we never learnt."

Ms Ardern congratulated Wellington High School for making it compulsory for all year nine students to learn te reo.

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