Let’s learn Tongan
The Tongan Language Week / Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga will kick off this weekend, beginning Sunday 3 September, running through to Saturday 9 September.
The Ministry is reaching out to all New Zealanders to participate in the coming week’s events, and to use Tongan greetings and phrases within their offices and local communities.
Engagement in Tongan Language Week has grown with the week now widely celebrated across New Zealand through schools, tertiary institutions, workplaces and communities.
The Tongan ethnic group is the third largest of our Pacific populations (after Samoans and Cook Islands Maori) making up 20% (60,333) of the Pacific population (295,941) with 77.8% living in the Auckland region (Census 2013).
There has also been an increase in the number of people who speak the Tongan language from 23,046 in 2001 to 31,839 in 2013. The Ministry will continue to sustain this growth trend by supporting the Language Week.
The theme for 2017 is “Fakakoloa Aotearoa ‘Aki’ Ae Nono ‘A Kainga” meaning ‘Enriching Aotearoa with our Family values.’
The official Tongan Language Week ceremony will be held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Saturday 2nd September 2017 from 5pm.
The Ministry is working closely with the Tongan Language Committee to support Tongan Language Week and encourage all Tongans living in New Zealand to help preserve their Tongan language.