Dates for Pacific language weeks announced

posted: 9:00 am - 6th March 2018
2015 01 17 Coote MPIA 247

The 2018 dates for the annual Pacific language weeks have been announced.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio says Pacific language weeks are about recognising the linguistic abilities of our Pacific peoples and sharing it with the rest of New Zealand as a thing of value we can all be proud of.

“We thrive in New Zealand when we hear our own stories, in our own languages, from our own people,” Mr Sio says.

Celebrating Pacific language weeks in Aotearoa is an important part of strengthening Pacific languages and cultural identity for the more than 60 percent of Pacific people born in Aotearoa.  

Mr Sio adds we also must work collectively to protect and preserve languages for the Pacific communities who call New Zealand home, especially when New Zealand’s three Pacific realm nations of Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands are vulnerable and at risk of being lost to future generations.

The Pacific language weeks are community-led initiatives that began in 2007 with the Samoan Language Week being first to launch.

In addition, Pacific peoples celebrate Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu and the languages of the realm island nations during the year.

“Our Pacific communities continue to find ways to encourage the large Pacific New Zealand-born population to learn, retain and use their languages in their day-to-day lives,” Mr Sio says.

The Pacific language weeks offer all New Zealanders a chance to celebrate and experience the value of Pacific languages, culture and identity. 

Starting with Samoa Language Week in May, the 2018 Pacific language weeks’ line-up ends with Tokelau Language Week in October.

  • Samoa Language Week: May 27 – June 2
  • Cook Islands Language Week: July 29 – August 4
  • Tonga Language Week: September 2 – September 8
  • Tuvalu Language Week: September 30 – October 6
  • Fiji Language Week: October 7 –October 13
  • Niue Language Week: October 14 – October 20
  • Tokelau Language Week: October 21 – October 27.