Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Govt must step up efforts to save Cook Islands language

Su’a William SIO

Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson

MP for Mangere                        
4 August 2013                                                              

Govt must step up efforts to save Cook Islands language

The Cook Islands Language Week from 4 – 10 August  should serve as a reminder to the Minister of Pacific Islands Affairs, that simply saying it is up to the community to maintain their language is not good enough, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.
“Many elders of the Cook Islands community have said to me that it’s a huge challenge  to sustain the gains their children make by learning Cook Islands at early childhood education when there is no clear pathway for them at primary and intermediate levels.
“Children at ECE levels are quick to learn their heritage language in stories, song and dance, but unless there is a continuation of Cook Islands language taught in primary, intermediate and college levels, they’ll lose that.
“It’s hard for any child to maintain bilingualism in New Zealand, despite the efforts of parents and community leaders.  Pacific New Zealanders simply want to pass their heritage on to the next generation of Pacific children.
“The evidence we’ve seen from overseas, and particularly in countries where bilingualism is embraced, is that children are better for a bilingual education. Children who can speak a number of languages, or learn in different languages are smart children.
“The last Census in 2006 showed a drop in the number of New Zealand-born Cook Islanders able to speak their language. That cannot be allowed to be a continuing trend. Without a strong commitment from this Government towards protecting the Cook Islands language, it will be lost.
“As part of the realm of New Zealand countries, Cook Islanders have a right to be challenging this Government about the constitutional obligation of New Zealand to protect their language from dying.

We know our children who can speak Te Reo are very grounded.  If we lose completely the Cook Islands language, our children will also lose their heritage,” Su’a William Sio said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Weekend Of Doing Wheelies, Going Nowhere

Evidently, a year is not a long time in politics. The National Party for example, has just chosen to end this year much as it began it: riven by factions, leaking like a sieve, saddled with a party leader unlikely to lead them into election 2023, and having just chosen to re-install Peter Goodfellow as party president, despite his reluctance to take any responsibility for the party’s dismal election performance.
In other words, National appears determined not to learn from his past mistakes... More>>


National: Leader’s Speech At Annual General Meeting

Good morning delegates. It’s an absolute privilege to be speaking as your leader. I’d like to acknowledge the party president, regional chairs, board members, National Party staff, our MPs, our candidates, and most importantly, you – the delegates, ... More>>


RNZ: NZ May Become 'Florida Of South Pacific' Without Young Tourists - YHA

The country may attract only the 'old rich set' and risks becoming known as 'boring and staid' if it targets wealthy visitors, the Youth Hostels Association says. More>>


Government: Agreement Advanced To Purchase Up To 5 Million COVID-19 Vaccines

Hon Megan Woods Minister of Research, Science and Innovation The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, ... More>>


Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>


APEC: New Zealand Ready To Host Virtually

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While ... More>>


Oranga Tamariki Report: Government Must Transfer Power To Māori - Children's Commissioner

The Children's Commissioner is calling for an urgent and significant transformation of Oranga Tamariki - and is telling the government to commit to a transfer of power to Māori. More>>




InfoPages News Channels