A bill that would have required all primary and intermediate schools to offer second language tuition from among 10 priority languages has been torpedoed by Labour despite the party originally supporting the bill.
The Labour-led parliamentary committee examining the bill, originally proposed by ex National MP Nikki Kaye, oppose making 10 languages a priority. It says that te reo Māori and sign language should be the priority languages because they are both official languages.
And it said Cook Island Māori, Niuean and Tokelauan and other Pacific languages needed to be valued and taught.
National education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith said Labour are too focused on Māori - Pākehā relations.
"Fundamentally, what's happened is Labour have decided that yes, it's a good idea to learn a second language, you can learn any language you like, but it must be te reo."