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I-E-Ko-Ko encourages Cook Islands Māori in class

1 July 2008 Media Statement

I-E-Ko-Ko encourages Cook Islands Māori in class

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban today launched I-E-Ko-Ko! An Introduction to Cook Islands Māori, saying this is an important resource for students to learn new skills and a language that reflects the richness and diversity of New Zealand's National Identity.

The multi media resource is part of the Learning Language Series and targets both teachers and learners of languages in Years 7 and 8. It provides a diverse range of learning activities for bringing Cook Islands Māori to the classroom.

"Our Labour-led government is a strong supporter of second language teaching and learning in New Zealand schools, providing our young people with the opportunity to gain skills that will prepare them for the future," Laban said.

"I-E-KO-KO will make a positive contribution to lifting the profile of this Pacific language and encourage more learners and users of Cook Islands Māori in both the classroom and in everyday life."

Laban said New Zealand is a Pacific country with Pacific culture and languages becoming increasingly important in the way New Zealanders see themselves.

"We want the number of all New Zealanders able to speak an additional language, particularly their native tongue, to increase. Language is one of the most important tools that we can master to help us become truly global citizens," Laban said.

For Pasifika students, this resource is particularly important, linking to the Labour-led government's commitment to raising educational participation and achievement for Pasifika students through the Pasifika Education Plan.

"Through the Plan, we are focusing on ensuring that Pasifika students are at school, interested and actively participating in learning, and increasing the effectiveness of teaching for Pasifika students.

"An important part of this is acknowledging and celebrating the diversity of cultures and languages in the school curriculum, which is what I-E-Ko-Ko! An Introduction to Cook Islands Māori does," Laban said.

ENDS

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