Let’s talk about the future of Pacific Languages in Aotearoa

Pacific Peoples

Starting today, everyone in Aotearoa has a chance to have their say on the future of Pacific Languages in this country, said the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio.

Consultation on the Pacific Languages Strategy, aimed at increasing the use of Pacific languages in Aotearoa, is open until Friday 12 November.

“Our Pacific communities have told us how important our beautiful languages are to their wellbeing, and nothing has brought that home more strongly than COVID-19.

“Using Pacific languages to share key information has been essential for stopping the spread of the virus in our communities.

“Unfortunately, we also know that fewer people are using our Pacific languages in Aotearoa than they did a couple of decades back.

“The Ministry for Pacific Peoples has developed a strategy to increase the use of Pacific languages, and to revitalise those most at risk.

“The Pacific Languages Strategy will allow for more effective leadership and co-ordination across government and supporting communities in all efforts to drive language revitalisation.

“We need to see our Pacific languages valued and used by more of us. We need more opportunities and pathways for learning our languages as well as the environments and spaces in which they can be used more often.”

The strategy will support our communities to drive and lead the urgent work that’s needed to increase the use of Te Gagana Tokelau, Vagahau Niue, Te Reo Māori Kuki ‘Āirani, Gagana Samoa, Lea Faka-Tonga, Te Gana Tuvalu, Vosa Vakaviti, Fäeag Rotųam and Te taetae ni Kiribati.

“These are all language groups with diverse and different needs, strengths, and challenges, and each group deserves a tailored approach,” said Aupito William Sio.

“I urge everyone in our Pacific communities to lead the shaping of these approaches by giving feedback on the Pacific Languages Strategy.

“Let’s talk about our languages and the best way to collaborate for their wellbeing, which is such a cornerstone for our overall wellbeing. 

“As the Samoan proverb expresses it so beautifully, ‘E le tu faamauga seisi’ which means that ‘No person stands alone like a mountain, we must do things collectively’, that is how we stand strong as a mountain, when we stand together and take people with us,” said Aupito William Sio.

Editor’s Note:

Consultation on the Pacific Languages Strategy is open until Friday 12 November. For more information and to have your say, visit https://www.mpp.govt.nz/programmes/pacific-languages-strategy/