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Cook Islands Language Week celebrated

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Minister for Pacific Peoples

3 August 2015

Cook Islands Language Week celebrated

Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has welcomed Cook Islands Language Week.

The theme is “to tatou reo tupuna e korona ia no to tatou matakeinanga” – our language is a crowning glory of our community.

The theme of the language week, which began yesterday, reflects the contribution the Cook Islands language and culture make to New Zealand’s society.

“When you are in the community you understand the Pacific influence in New Zealand’s culture,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“Language is at the core of Pacific people’s identity. Cook Islands Language Week reminds us of this and why it is important to celebrate our Pacific cultures.”

Cook Islanders make up about 22 per cent of New Zealand’s Pacific population, with more living here than in in the Cook Islands. There are about 62,000 people in New Zealand who identify as Cook Islanders. Less than 13 per cent of New Zealand-born Cook Islanders speak Cook Islands Maori.

This is a special year for the Cook Islands, as 2015 marks 50 years since it became self-governing in free association with New Zealand. That makes this year’s Cook Islands Language Week even more special.

A list of events marking Cook Islands Language Week can be found at www.mpia.govt.nz

The 2015 line-up of six Pacific Language Weeks started with Samoa Language Week in May and ends with Tokelau Language Week in October.

ends

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