National Leader Chrstopher Luxon's media conference in Timaru

National party leader Chris Luxon has had to sidestep questions around the use of Te Reo by highlighting the bigger issues on his whistlestop tour of Ashburton.
During his public meeting at the Ashburton Event Centre on Friday Luxon was quizzed by a member of the crowd on the increasing use of Te Reo names for Government departments, areas, and places – a question that received a round of applause – while another attendee was concerned about the use of Aoteroa New Zealand.
Luxon addressed the questions but he was quick to shift the focus to the much bigger issues the country is facing.
“I know it’s a big issue for you but I’m telling you right now 60 per cent of New Zealanders are freaked out about the cost of living crisis,” Luxon said.
“You may be at a stage in your life where you are comfortable but I’m telling you most new Zealanders are sitting there going ‘I don’t quite know how I’m going to be paying my rent this week’.
He said he knows a lot of people want to discuss the use of Te Reo but “you have to focus on the things that are really important and that are actually about the country having a future.”
He initially sidestepped the Te Reo question to discuss the issue of co-governance which he said the Government needed to be clearer on what co-governance means and that National is focussed on outcomes.
“We believe we are one country. We can have single system and within that single system we can have components of innovation that can actually target people on the basis of need, not ethnicity.”
He was then when pressed on using ‘ Aoteroa’ and suggested it could be an issue for a referendum
“I appreciate that not many of you may not want to learn Te Reo, that’s fine, that’s your choice.
“But there are a lot of 40-year-olds that do and I personally want to learn Te Reo and I should be free to do that as well.”
He said he often uses New Zealand as that is the brand and “we are a country that relies on trade and we have to do business around the world.”
Luxon had started the day with a tour of Ashford’s, which he said was a great example of world class business from Ashburton that is taking it to the world.
He then had a lunch at the Hotel Ashburton local business represenatives and natinal party members before the public meeting.
Aside from the Te Reo issues, Luxon covered off National’s policy on three waters, housing, cost of living crisis, law and order, and four-laning State Highway 1 from Ashburton to Rolleston.