Tuvalu Language Week launched

posted: 1:00 pm - 25th September 2016

Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has launched Tuvalu Language Week today.

“The Tuvaluan community in New Zealand is thriving. Although small in number they are active and resourceful, with churches, playgroups and radio shows dedicated to preserving the rich culture,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“This year’s theme is Ulu kite fatu e malu ei koe, which focuses on the mui (rock) as the spiritual source of family, language, culture and identity.”

There are 3,537 Tuvaluan people living in New Zealand (Census, 2013). Of these, 72% live in Auckland, 12.5% in Wellington and the rest primarily in Otago.

“According to the 2013 Census, more than 60 percent of the community can speak Tuvaluan. We would like to encourage more people to use it,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“This year the Ministry for Pacific Peoples has worked with Te Papa Tongarewa and Tuvaluan communities to develop a free educational resource to help with learning more about the small Pacific nation’s language, culture and identity. It is a good starting point for those interested in learning or teaching the language.”

Tuvalu Language Week finishes on Saturday 1 October to coincide with Tuvalu’s 38th Independence Day celebrations.

A full calendar of Tuvalu Language Week events and the educational resource are available here.

On social media the hashtag is #TuvaluLanguageWeek.