Ardern wants Te Reo Maori 'universally available' but steers clear of endorsing making it compulsory in schools

The government has steered clear of supporting a roll-out of compulsory Te Reo Maori education in primary schools, instead the Prime Minister says the focus was on "making sure it is realisitc" first.

Jacinda Ardern spoke in Porirua today, saying the government will create the "foundations" prior to making te reo compulsory. 

"It's an official language of New Zealand, it enriches our education system and our lives and it improves learning amongst students."

"We want everyone to have access to te reo," she said, however Ms Ardern added New Zealand isn't "close to that yet". 

"We want te reo to be universally available, that means making sure we're supporting enough graduates in teaching te reo," she said.

"We have a shortage now, we have a lot of work to do there."

Ms Ardern said the promise was "a different policy" to the Green Party who committed to compulsory te reo learning. 

"Our focus is making sure it's realistic, at the moment unless we keep investing in te reo teachers, then that goal is hard. We want to make sure we have the foundations there."

It's a step back from the Green Party's policy to make te reo compulsory in schools. Source: 1 NEWS