The Maori Affairs Minister is calling for extra recognition of Te Reo ahead of Maori Language Week.
Te Ururoa Flavell says while it's good to see public figures make an effort, it should be a year-round commitment, not just an annual event.
He wants to see all young people in New Zealand learning the language at school.
"The courageous stand in this particular case would be for us to recognise that Te Reo Maori is so important to this country's heritage and nationhood," he told RadioLIVE.
"A move to compulsory Maori in schools would be a great move towards ensuring its survival forever."
Mr Flavell says it's atrocious the way some Maori place names – including electorates – are pronounced in Parliament.
"It's a wonderful language and something that our country should be proud of."
Maori Language Week starts July 27.