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Pacific people thrive in their own languages

Pacific people thrive in their own languages

Kia ora, Kia orana, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Malo ni, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Ni sa bula vinaka, and Fakatalofa atu.

Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon Aupito William Sio, says Pacific language weeks are about recognising the linguistic abilities of our Pacific peoples and sharing it with the rest of New Zealand as a thing of value that we can all be proud of.

“We thrive in New Zealand when we hear our own stories, in our own languages, from our own people,” says Mr Sio.

“Celebrating our Pacific language weeks in Aotearoa is an important part of strengthening Pacific languages and cultural identity for the more than 60 per cent of Pacific people who are born in Aotearoa.

We also must work collectively to protect and preserve languages for the Pacific communities who call New Zealand home, especially when New Zealand’s three Pacific realm nations of Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands are vulnerable and at risk of being lost to future generations.

The Pacific language weeks are community-led initiatives that began in 2007 with the Samoan Language Week being first to launch. In addition, Pacific peoples celebrate Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu and the languages of the realm island nations during the year.

“Our Pacific communities continue to find ways to encourage the large Pacific New Zealand-born population to learn, retain and use their languages in their day-to-day lives,” says Mr Sio.

The Pacific language weeks offer all New Zealanders a chance to celebrate and experience the value of Pacific languages, culture and identity.

“I am proud to announce the official Pacific language dates for 2018 and look forward to joining in with our community. I also look forward to sharing these celebrations with my parliamentary colleagues”

The 2018 Pacific Language Week line-up begins with Samoa Language Week in May and ends with Tokelau Language Week in October.

Samoa Language Week: Sunday 27 May – Saturday 2 June 2018
Cook Islands Language Week: Sunday 29 July – Saturday 4 August 2018
Tonga Language Week: Sunday 2 September – Saturday 8 September 2018
Tuvalu Language Week: Sunday 30 September – Saturday 6 October 2018
Fiji Language Week: Sunday 7 October – Saturday 13 October 2018
Niue Language Week: Sunday 14 October – Saturday 20 October 2018
Tokelau Language Week: Sunday 21 October – Saturday 27 October 2018

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