Language week has new lea-faka Tonga goals
Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio is urging Tongans everywhere to embrace Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga - Tonga Language Week 2022, to help stop the decline in its use by the New Zealand born Tongan population.
“It has been so great to see the Ministry and Tongan groups around the country, who have delivered many wonderful language initiatives over the years, collectively decide to put a spin on the Pacific Language Weeks’ theme of sustainability,” Aupito William Sio said.
“The word Tu’uloa in the theme this year means to continuously grow, nurture, and sustain a valued idea, practice, event, or memory in an enduring way.
“Rather than forcing everyone to stick to the theme, organisers thought it would be more relevant to give ownership and responsibility to the community to interpret and articulate what Tu’uloa means to them.
“For example, a youth group might create the mantra Tu’uloa - ‘e mo’ui ‘a e lea ‘i he kaha’ú ‘o makatu’unga ‘i he to’utupu ‘o e lolotongá, which translates to ‘Sustainability’ – the language will survive in the future based on the youth of today,” Aupito William Sio added.
Statistics NZ have reported Tongans to be the fastest-growing Pacific ethnic group in New Zealand in recent years, with their numbers increasing more than threefold between 1986 and 2006.
According to the 2018 Census, New Zealand had a Tongan population of 82,389 that year, but only 12 percent of Tongans under 15 spoke the language in New Zealand - a decline of nine percent since 2006.
In the recent Leo Moana o Aotearoa survey, 72 percent of Tongans said that listening and speaking to family members in your household was an enabler, and during consultation on the draft Pacific Languages Strategy in 2021, the Tongan community shared some of their insights on how we might strengthen and maintain lea faka-Tonga in Aotearoa.
“Tongans believe that encouraging grassroots initiatives such as teaching the language through various cultural values, learning lea faka-Tonga at home, and total immersion would support them to reclaim their language.
“This is why the Government is also investing through the Ministry of Education in the implementation of Pacific bilingual language education throughout the education system as part of the Pacific Education Plan.
“During Tonga Language Week, many of the online and in-person initiatives will focus on youth and the passing of cultural knowledge from the elders to young people, through activities such as music, cooking, wellbeing, dance, arts and craft, storytelling and oratory – we want you to get involved, mālō 'aupito,” Aupito William Sio said.
Ngaahi taumu‘a fo‘ou ki he uike kātoanga‘i ‘o e lea Faka-Tongá
Kuo fakalotolahi mai ‘e he Minisitā ma ‘a e kakai Pasifikí, Aupito William Sio ki he kāinga Tonga kotoa pē, ke nau kau atu ki he Uike Kātoanga‘i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tongá - Tonga Language Week 2022. ‘E tokoni ‘eni ki hono pukepuke mo fakatolonga ‘etau leá ka e tautefito ki he kakai Tonga ‘oku fā‘ele‘i ‘i Nu‘u Sila ní.
“ ‘Oku fakamāfana ‘a e ngaahi ngāue ‘a e Potungāué pea mo e ngaahi kulupu Tonga ‘i he tapa kehekehe ‘o e fonuá, ‘i he ngaahi ta‘u kuo maliu atú kuo nau fakahoko ha ngaahi polokalama ngāue ki he lea faka-Tongá . Kuo nau fokotu‘u ai ha taumu‘a fo‘ou ki hono kātonga‘i ‘o e ngaahi lea fakafonua ‘o e Pasifikí ‘a ia ‘oku pehē, ke tu‘uloa ‘a e lea Faka-Tongá ‘i Aotearoa”, ko e me‘a ia ‘a Aupito William Sio.
“’Oku ‘uhinga ‘a e lea Tu‘uloá ‘i he kaveinga ‘o e ta’u ní ki he fakatupulekina ma‘u pē, tokangaekina pea poupoua ha ngaahi fakakaukau mahu‘inga, ngāue angamaheni, ‘aho mahu‘inga pe ko ha‘o manatu melie ‘i ha founga ‘oku tolonga.”
“Na‘e pehē ‘e kinautolu ‘oku nau fokotu‘u ‘a e kaveingá, ‘e lelei ange ke takitaha faka‘uhinga‘i ‘e he ngaahi komiunitī ‘a e lea tu‘uloá kae ‘ikai ko e fai pau ki ha ta‘umu‘a pe fakakaukau pē ‘e taha.”
“Hangē ko ‘ení, ‘e lava pē ke faka‘uhinga‘i ‘e he to‘utupú ‘a e tu‘uloá ‘o pehē - ‘e makatu‘unga ‘a e tolonga ‘etau lea′ ‘i he kaha‘ú mei he to‘utupu ‘o e lolotonga ní,” ko Aupito William Sio ia.
Kuo līpooti ‘e he Potungāue Setisitika ‘a Nu‘u Sila ní (Statistics NZ) ‘i he ngaahi ta‘u kuo maliu atú, ko e kāinga Tongá ‘oku vave taha ‘a e tupu honau tokolahí ‘i he ngaahi matakali pasifiki ‘i Nu‘u Sila ní. ‘A ia kuo laka hake he liunga tolu′ ‘a e tupu honau tokolahí ‘i he vaha‘a ta‘u 1986 mo e 2006.
Fakatatau ki he he tohi kakai ‘o e 2018, na‘e fe‘unga mo e toko 82,389 ‘a e tokolahi ‘o e kāinga Tonga ‘i Nu‘u Silaní. Ko e pēseti pē ‘e 12% ‘o e fānau si‘i hifo ‘i he ta‘u 15 na‘a′ nau lea Faka-Tonga ‘i Nu‘u Sila ni′ – ‘a ia na‘e holo ‘aki ‘a e pēseti ‘e 9% talu mei he 2006.
‘I he savea kimui′ ni mai ‘a e Leo Moana ‘o Aotearoa, ko e pēseti ‘e 72% ‘o kinautolu Tonga (na‘e kau ki he savea′) na‘a′ nau pehē ‘oku tokoni ‘a e fanongo′ mo e fetalanoa‘aki mo e fāmili ‘i ‘apí ki he fakatolonga ‘o e lea faka-Tongá. Lolotonga ‘a e fevahevahe‘aki ‘o e fokotu‘utu‘u ‘o e fa‘unga ngāue Pacific Languages Strategy ‘i he 2021, na‘e hā ai ‘a e fevahevahe‘aki fekau‘aki mo e ngaahi a‘usia ‘a e kāinga Tongá, ‘i hono pukepuke mo fakatolonga ‘o e lea Faka-Tongá ‘i Nu‘u Silá ni.
“Ko e ngaahi founga na‘e tui ‘a e kāinga Tongá ‘e tokoni ki hono fakatolonga ‘a e leá na‘e kau ai, ‘a hono poupoua ‘a e ngaahi polokalama ‘i he komiunití ‘oku ngāue‘aki ai ‘a e leá, fua ako ‘a e lea Faka-Tongá ‘i ‘api pea mo e ‘ikai ke toe ngāue‘aki ha lea kehe ka ko e lea Faka-Tonga pē.”
“Ko hono ‘uhinga ia ‘oku ngāue fakataha ai ‘a e Pule‘angá pea mo e Potungāue Akó (Ministry of Education), ke fakahoko ‘a e ngāue‘aki fakataha ‘o e lea Faka-Pilitāniá mo e ngaahi lea fakafonua ‘o e Pasifikí ‘i he ngaahi ako‘angá,’a ia ko e konga ia ‘o e palani ngāue ‘oku ‘iloa ko e Pacific Education Plan.
“Lolotonga ‘a e uike Kātoanga‘i ‘o e lea Faka-Tongá, (mei he ‘aho 4-10 ‘o Sepitemá), ‘e fakamamafa‘i ‘i he ngaahi polokalama ngāue ‘e fakahokó ‘a hono vahevahe ‘a e ‘ilo mo e taukei tukufakaholo mei he mātu‘á ki he to‘utupú. ‘E kau heni ‘a e ngaahi hiva, founga feime‘atokoní, mo‘uilōtolú, faiva fakafonuá, ngāue fakamea‘á, ngaahi talatupu‘a mo e fanangá – ‘oku mahu‘inga ‘aupito ke mou kau mai, mālō ‘aupito,” ko Aupito William Sio ia.