Statement on International Mother Language Day
The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers today celebrates International Mother Language Day.
ANZASW’s membership represents a diverse group of people, speaking many different languages, including a variety of mother tongues.
Globally, ANZASW stands with those who seek preserve language, particularly indigenous languages, from extinction. Language is one of the core properties of culture, heritage and identity, and is therefore immeasurably precious.
The United Nations estimates that 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken globally are endangered; ANZASW commends all efforts to protect these languages from disappearance.
In Aotearoa New Zealand we particularly honour the indigenous language of the nation, Te Reo Maori, and support all efforts to bring it into the public sphere.
ANZASW recognises language as a supreme cultural artifact that needs to be cherished and looks forward to a future where all cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand are celebrated, recognised and honoured.