The issue of compulsory te reo Māori in schools is highlighting divisions within the coalition.

Earlier this week, the Green Party unveiled its policy that te reo Māori would be made a compulsory subject alongside English and Maths.

But NZ First opposes it saying it's not government policy.

And while the Prime Minister says she supports making the language widely available, she's also refusing to make it compulsory.

But that hasn't stopped the Minister of Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta offering her view: she says compulsory te reo Māori in schools is just a matter of time.

“Koia nā te tino wawata, ko te tino mate kārekau, torutoru noa iho ngā kaiako Māori e āhei ana ki te whakaako i ā tātou nei tamariki, ko te tino wero ki a mātou nei te kāwanatanga, kia whakapakari ake, kia whakanui ake te tatauranga o ngā kaiako Māori.”

The Green Party has unveiled its Māori language policy with Greens member Marama Davidson sharing her message for Labours Māori Caucus.

“Ka akiaki ki te pāti Reipa ki te tautoko i te minita hoki a Nanaia Mahuta. Kei konei ahau ki te tautoko i a ia me ōnā hiahia pea.”

Mahuta is on the same page as Davidson and says it’s the language of the land and should be taught as such.

“E rite māua ko Marama ko te tino aronga ka tae ki te wā ka āhei tēnei motu ki te tiaki, ki te manaaki i te reo Māori - nō te whenua tērā reo, nō tātou te Māori, engari ki a au nei, ka tae ki te wā te rongo ake ki te tokomaha e kōrero ana i te reo Māori - he mea pai tēnā.”

Ngahiwi Apanui, CEO of Te Taura Whiri says the key thing is to normalise the language.

“Te reo Māori being taught in schools and being available to all New Zealanders is a key platform of revitalisation. We need to move away from the word 'compulsory', which sounds like people having something jammed down their throat, to talking about revitalisation.”

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