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Minister of Pacific Island Affairs fails Pacific education

Su’a William
Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson
MP for Mangere

23 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs fails Pacific education

“A rift between senior Pasifika leaders and the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs is the result of the failure of this Government to prioritise Pasifika people and their educational aspiration,” said Su’a William Sio, Labour’s Spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs.

“Le Afioga Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin has today resigned as a member of the Pacific Advisory Council to Hekia Parata in protest over the meaningless 2012 Pacific Language Framework strategy and the Pasifika Education Plan 2013 - 2017 hastily launched yesterday.

“I’m sad this has happened but I understand completely how this high chief of the Samoan community must feel after serving 14 years on the Council advising governments on the value of Pasifika languages.

“He knows that this government is only paying lip service to Pasifika people. He knows the old adage of ‘Ua togi le moa ae u’u le afa’ applies exactly with this situation. The Government has offered the Pasifika Education Plan 2013 - 2017 as a gift, but in reality it has no real meaning for Pasifika people.

“The community is calling for successful futures for our children and using Pasifika languages in the learning is a strong pathway for Pacific learners.

“The latest resignation follows RAISE PASIFIKA pulling out of a community initiative made up of teachers, researchers and parents from Government discussions over the Pacific Education Plan.

“They walked away from the plan because they sensed the disingenuous nature of this Government towards Pacific aspiration.

“This Government continues to fail to recognise that if Pacific people succeed, New Zealand will succeed,” said Su’a William Sio.


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