Topic: Te Reo Māori

Metiria Turei delivers first address of 2016 in te reo

By Heta Gardiner
  • Wellington

For the first time in her political career, Metiria Turei has delivered her first address of the year in te reo Māori.  The seven minute speech was the result of an effort to speak more Māori.

A new year and a new challenge for the Green Party co-leader. 

Metiria Turei has been a MP for 14 years, but this is the first time she has delivered her opening address in Māori. 

She says, "It is a big challenge for me to speak Māori.  But it is good for my learning."

Metiria's learning is still in its infancy.  Even so, she isn't letting a fear of failure hold her back. 

"Because of my busy schedule, I struggle to find the time.  I am also a bit shy," she adds.

The only Māori speaking MP in the Greens, Marama Davidson, is proud.  But she knows there is a lot more learning to do for both of them. 

"We'll support each other.  The Māori speaking staff here with the Greens are very supportive of both of us," says Davidson.

The Minister for Māori Development often encourages the use of te reo Māori in the House.  He's pleased to have another soldier for the language cause. 

"I just heard of her commitment to learn Māori.  Who could fault such a noble pursuit?  It is also very important that she show her learnings in Parliament itself, so she deserves a lot of praise!" says Te Ururoa Flavell.

The challenge has now been taken as an example for others to follow.