Most read: Labour's Willow-Jean Prime defends right to speak Te Reo in Parliament after emailer tells her to 'say it in English'

This story was first published on Friday August 17.

Willow-Jean Prime gives her maiden speech in parliament, 2017. Source: NZ Parliament

Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime received criticism from a member of the public yesterday after she spoke Te Reo Māori in a Parliamentary speech.

Ms Prime has since shared a screenshot on her Facebook page of the message sent to her, while defending her rights to speak the language.

The member of public, whose name has been redacted, said "Like nearly all people living in New Zealand, I don't speak Maori."

"Is it your intention to provide the opportunity for us to refill our teacups or visit the toilet while you speak? If not, you might like to join your peers and say it in English," they said.

Ms Prime responded on her Facebook post to say it was ironic she saw her Uncle Wassie at the airport the same afternoon, who was always her "inspiration to keep learning and keep speaking [Te Reo Māori]. "

"I remember hearing Uncle Wassie say at the opening of the Ngati Hine FM studio in Kawakawa that he knows that there isn’t a topic that he can’t speak about in Te Reo - anything, anywhere, so let’s speak it!"

She also points out to the message sender that captions can always be turned on for speeches in the House, and full translations in Hansard are usually available a few days later.