So what, I haven’t spoken te reo in 49 years, and not likely ever to start

The media are making a fuss over Gerry Brownlee not speaking te reo for 20 years: Quote:

Debate around the use and translation of te reo M?ori at Parliament has sparked an admission from National’s Gerry Brownlee, a former M?ori teacher, that he hasn’t used the language in two decades.

It is M?ori language week, and several questions at Parliament have been answered fully in te reo. That’s not uncommon – many MPs choose to use the official language of New Zealand, or use a mix of M?ori and English.

But following several long answers in te reo from Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta at question time this afternoon, the Speaker Trevor Mallard called her into line, using the word “iti.”

Mr Brownlee raised a point of order thinking the Speaker had pulled up the Minister for “less than appropriate” language in Parliament, but Mr Mallard quickly put him right, saying he was referring to the answer size.

“No, no no, ‘too much’ language. Oh ‘too long,'” he said. “The answers were too long.”

Mr Brownlee charged on to make his point.

“Well, there was a short answer yesterday that I’d like you to have a look at – it came from the honourable Kelvin Davis… Had that been delivered I suspect in English, it would have brought some ire from you.”

He went on to say that if there was going to be more use of te reo – which he doesn’t object to – he thinks “it’s important when people are using it that they are not using it to deliver insults” or any other comment that might not ordinarily be acceptable.

Mr Brownlee then revealed he hadn’t used the language in 20 years because of a “tirade that was dumped on me by the M?ori Language Commission and its chief executive back then.”

That was likely to do with his call to abolish the commission in 1999. End quote.

Big deal. I haven’t used te reo in 49 years and will go to my grave never learning it or using it. Can’t see the point.