A Maori education group says Asia's positive reception to Maori trade delegations adds weight to its calls for Te Reo Maori to be taught in mainstream schools.
Nga Kaikokiri Matauranga represents iwi on education matters and wants the Maori language to be offered in all English medium schools from years one to 13.
Spokesperson Awanui Black said the Maori language and culture has proved its worth through trade talks to China.
He said the Chinese value culture as do Asian people on the whole, and it's why the Maori cultural connection should be built on.
Mr Black said if te reo is taught in schools, future generations will be able to exploit further trade opportunities with indigenous countries.