The Greens' plan to bring te reo Māori to years 1 to 10

The Green Party says if elected, it will introduce te reo Māori as a core subject for year 1 students by 2020.

Within 10 years, all students up to year 10 would be learning Māori as a core curriculum subject.

The Greens would increase the number of te reo Māori teachers over the next 15 years, doubling the number of scholarships for people who want to teach the language. It plans to have a senior te reo Māori teacher in every primary school.

"I can't wait for the day when every child learns te reo Māori and falls in love with this beautiful language which is uniquely ours," Green Party co-leader James Shaw said.

"Te reo Māori is the first language spoken in Aotearoa and is a fundamental part of our identity as New Zealanders, giving us pride on the world stage."

At the announcement on Thursday, Green spokesperson for Māori development Marama Davidson said her parents delivered the petition calling for te reo Māori in schools to Parliament 45 years ago. 

"Since that time, incredible work has taken place to revitalise and uphold Te Reo in Aotearoa."

"Despite that incredible work, we are still in a decline when it comes to those who can speak Te Reo," Ms Davidson said.

"Half of all schools in Aotearoa have no student learning te reo or taking a te reo subject."

"We can and must take up a Crown responsibility to have teo reo Māori as a universal subject in all public primary and secondary schools from year 1 to year 10."