Dates announced for 2023 Pacific language weeks

Pacific Peoples

Minister for Pacific Peoples Barbara Edmonds has announced the 2023 Pacific Language week series, highlighting the need to revitalise and sustain languages for future generations.

“Pacific languages are a cornerstone of our health, wellbeing and identity as Pacific peoples. When our languages are spoken, heard and celebrated, our communities thrive,” Barbara Edmonds said.

“Each year the Language Week series gets bigger and better. Last year participation increased with over 1.6 million people reached here and abroad. We also invested over $400,000 into supporting 50 community initiatives.

“Throughout the series, we will be focused on revitalising and sustaining our Pacific languages. This initiative aligns with UNESCO’s International Decade of Indigenous Languages which recognises the right to preserve, revitalise and promote languages.

“UNESCO findings indicate that at least 40 percent of the 7,000 languages used worldwide are in danger of being lost. Through our commitment to supporting language weeks, we are raising awareness and driving sustainable initiatives to ensure they continue for our future generations.

“We have seen how crucial supporting our indigenous languages are in New Zealand. During the pandemic and recent extreme weather events, languages played a huge role in keeping our Pacific communities connected.

“We are continuing to deliver on commitments made in the Pacific Languages Strategy launched last year and provides a long-term approach to supporting our Pacific peoples.”

Over the coming months, the Government will be working closely with communities to support their hosting of language week celebrations and events.

“I want to encourage everyone to get involved in the Pacific Language Weeks and celebrate each of these unique languages which enrich and diversify our country,” Barbara Edmonds said.

Pacific Language Week Dates 2023:

  • Rotuman: Sunday 7 May – Saturday 13 May
  • Samoa: Sunday 28 May – Saturday 03 June
  • Kiribati: Sunday 09 July – Saturday 15 July
  • Cook Islands: Sunday 30 July – Saturday 05 August
  • Tonga: Sunday 03 September – Saturday 09 September
  • Tuvalu: Sunday 01 October – Saturday 07 October
  • Fijian: Sunday 08 October – Saturday 14 October
  • Niue: Sunday 15 October – Saturday 21 October
  • Tokelau: Sunday 22 October – Saturday 28 October.

More information on the Language Week series can be found on the Ministry for Pacific Peoples website.