Kapiti College student Finnian Galbraith has challenged the Prime Minister to lead by example and make a concerted effort to use and pronounce te reo Māori correctly.
Finnian was thrust into the spotlight after his You Tube video, emphasising the importance of correctly pronouncing and acknowledging te reo Māori went viral online hitting 330, 000 views in under a week, it also featured in a number of international news stories.
Last night he took the stage at the “Talk Treaty” Exhibition in Auckland where he called for all politicians to utilise and speak te reo Māori correctly. He also challenged the Prime Minister brushing off the idea of a Māori language month.
In his speech, Finnian said, “No Mr Key, stretching Māori language week to a month would not be boring, we should be trying all year round anyway.”
The online news team was unable to contact the Prime Minister directly today regarding the te reo challenge as he is overseas. However the team did contact his office which responded with the following statement.
"The PM has never said “Maori Language month would be boring” The point he was making was that he thinks Māori Language Week is good because everyone really gets in behind it. He cited the fact the Herald ( and a lot of other media) promote it every day. He was just concerned that extending it to two or three weeks might not have the same impact."
Te Kāea will have more on this story tonight at 5:30 and 7pm.