Mr Williams made the comments in Auckland at a public discussion about prisons this week.
When asked if more Maori culture and language should be encouraged in prisons, he replied that New Zealand “runs on English”.
“You want to go and get a job, don’t bowl up speaking Maori and that’s the point I’m making. This is the reality we have to deal with, whether you’ve got a cultural bias. I can speak French and German but I don’t try and buy a bus ticket using either of those languages .”
Mike Williams later told Radio New Zealand News he was not against Te Reo being used in prisons.
Labour MP Kelvin Davis, who was also on the panel with Mr Williams, said his comments were disappointing.