Principals back compulsory te reo Māori plan

The Principals' Federation is backing the Government's move to make te reo Māori compulsory in schools.

It's part of Labour's pledge to have all early childhood, primary and intermediate schools teaching the subject by 2025.

Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta told Three's The Hui they'll be getting as much done as they can in the next three years.

"We certainly will see some inroads in this term of Government around the teaching aspects of it, and certainly at the primary school level. Integrating history into the curriculum is something we're committed to as well."

Principals' Federation president Whetu Cormick says it is achievable.

"We do know we have to be realistic that if we want this to happen, we're going to have to sufficiently resource early childhood to primary, and also secondary teacher training to get teachers ready to be able to do this."

Scrapping National Standards will help, he says.

"There are high levels of stress in our schools around compliance with the Minsitry of Education's National Standards. We think by taking away this compliance around National Standards, that will free up teachers to better teach te reo Māori."

It will take a while to fully implement.

"We want quality te reo Māori to be taught. At the moment we have a supply issue - there are not enough teachers to teach in mainstream schools."

During the election campaign, Labour allocated $14 million over four years to get 3000 teachers at all levels on te reo Māori language courses.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has promised National Standards will be gone "very quickly".