Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has jokingly blamed a fellow Labour MP for any bad pronunciation she may have made during an opening address in Te Reo Maori at a Rotorua marae today.
Speaking to elders and fellow MPs at the Te Papaiouru Marae this afternoon, Ms Ardern confidently began her speech in Te reo, receiving noises of approval from those gathered in the marae for her efforts.
She then drew laughs by blaming Labour MP Peeni Henare for any mistakes she may have made during the te reo segment of her address.
"I am slow but I am learning, and I always pledged that my learning of te reo would be a very public experience, so I welcome any feedback on my pronunciation, it can be made directly to Peeni Henare," Ms Ardern joked.
Ms Ardern was joined at the Te Papaiouru Marae by a group of fellow Labour MPs, including Tamati Coffey, Kelvin Davis and Willow-Jean Prime.
Mr Coffey used the visit to talk about his idea to listen to community leaders from different iwi in the Maori electorate so the needs of the people are met in the large regions.
"You understand the size of the Maori electorate is huge, to be able to really keep your ear to the ground you need a bit of infrastructure in there to make sure you have people there that can inform you.
"So what we've done is put the call out to a few people around the iwi, not necessarily Labour supporters but just people who are pragmatic and want to help me be supported in my role as the MP," Mr Coffey said.
He says the initiative is part of the government's new way of doing things. Ms Ardern also gave the plan her support while speaking to media at the marae.