Debate over Te Reo continues at Parliament with allegation of 'double standards' thrown around

The debate on the use of Te Reo Māori has continued at Parliament on Tuesday.  

Dozens of MPs have put Te Reo lessons on the taxpayer dime, which is fine with the Prime Minister but at odds with his comments from a few weeks ago.    

There's also been debate on whether the Government should be referring to the housing agency as Kainga Ora or its English name of Homes and Communities.   

It was created in 2019 by merging three public housing entities and Housing Minister Chris Bishop said because Kainga Ora has been used since the agency's inception, it's "known".    

But on page nine of National's coalition agreement with New Zealand First, it says "Ensure all public service departments have their primary name in English".  

Bishop, however, said he doesn't "know a single person who calls it Homes and Communities." 

But his coalition partners want it in English.   

Winston Peters said a significant majority don't understand the Maori version, while David Seymour said it should be "Housing and Communities" - which isn't actually its English name.    

Bishop would only say he hadn't talked to ACT or New Zealand First about it.   

Peters wasn't that fazed.  

"We're not going to go around pointing out small mistakes. They'll get it right over time."  

Peters himself wouldn't say if he knew the English name.    

"Don't be so arrogant. I was around doing things for Māori before you were even born."   

Many MPs are also struggling.   

National's Louise Upston, Matt Doocey and Tim Costley all thought the name was "Housing New Zealand".  

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said he hadn't spoken with New Zealand First and ACT about it.    

The Prime Minister also coming under more pressure over this comment two weeks ago about public servants using taxpayers' money to learn Te Reo.   

"In the real world, outside of wellington, and outside the bubble of Parliament, people who want to learn Te Reo or who want to learn any other education actually have to pay for it themselves," he said.   

Turns out, taxpayers paid for his own Te Reo lessons, and many of his MPs, including Tim van der Molen, Nicola Willis, Paul Goldsmith, and Upston.  

Labour's Chris Hipkins said Luxon seems to have a "double standard".   

"He sets one standard for himself and a different standard for everybody else."  

Luxon still can't say how much those lessons cost the taxpayer.