12 Mar 2014

NZ should be bilingual, says MP

7:43 pm on 12 March 2014

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.

Chris Tremain.

Chris Tremain. Photo: RNZ

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.