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Celebrating Fijian Language Week

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Minister for Pacific Peoples


3 October 2016 Media Statement

Celebrating Fijian Language Week

Pacific People’s Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is encouraging people across New Zealand to embrace Fijian Language Week which starts today.

“Attend events, use Fijian greetings and promote the language in your workplaces and community groups,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

Fiji Language Week runs from today until 9 October. The theme this year is noqu vosa, me’u bula taka which means my language, learn it, speak it, live it!

“The Fijian language is a core component of the culture, connecting Fijians around the world back to their homeland, their ancestors and their identity. It is important to preserve and promote it,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“The number of Fijians calling New Zealand home is growing and we want the language to grow with them.”

Nearly 14,500 people identify as being Fijian according to the 2013 Census.

“The number of Fijians in New Zealand has grown substantially from 9,900 in 2006 to 14,445 in 2013. That is an increase of 45.9% and means Fijians make up 4.9% of the pacific population here,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples and Te Papa Tongarewa have worked together with community groups to develop an educational resource for people to use to learn the language.

The resource and a list of Fiji Language Week events are available at:

http://www.mpp.govt.nz/language-culture-and-identity/pacific-language-weeks/fijian-language-week/. The social media hashtag is #FijiLanguageWeek.

ends

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