A professor of Maori language and customs is commending Trade Minister Tim Groser for his call for people to learn Te Reo Maori before they do Mandarin.
The National Party MP says Maori should be compulsory in primary schools.
Mr Groser says learning Te Reo Rangatira will help people pick up more languages more easily.
A Waikato University academic Pou Temara likes Mr Groser's idea for people to learn Maori before Mandarin.
But Mr Temara accepts there will be people who will question why Mandarin should not be learned first given the growing importance of relations between China and New Zealand.
He says Te Reo originates from this country and should be spoken by New Zealanders.