Former cabinet minister and outgoing National MP Chris Tremain says New Zealand should be bilingual, but he wouldn't force people to learn another language.
While not fluent, the politician has a good grasp of Te Reo.
As a student, he was inspired by his Maori principal in his Pakeha school in Hawke's Bay to start learning the Maori language.
He says if young students took a bilingual approach to language in schools, it would lead to a greater take-up of Te Reo.
Mr Tremain says in nations around the world which have bilingual education systems, pupils find it easier to learn a third and fourth language as well.