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Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity

31 August 2015 MEDIA STATEMENT

Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity

Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.

The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015 is “Fakakoloa Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e faiva ‘a e Tonga” which means enriching Aotearoa New Zealand with Tongan arts.

“Despite some pretty challenging times under this Government, Tongans are resilient. Labour is committed to supporting all Pacific ethnic groups on their respective journeys to success and prosperity.

“With over 60,000 Tongans living in New Zealand, it is the third largest Pacific ethnic group. It is important we continue to nurture the Tongan language to thrive and survive in New Zealand.

“It is just as important that we foster pathways for Pacific people to reconnect with their culture. Pacific language weeks encourage this, especially in the space of arts and crafts,” Jenny Salesa says.

Watch Jenny Salesa teach Opposition Leader Andrew Little some Tongan words here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4nwx4WlhuI


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