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Pacific Language Weeks focus on sustainability

Pacific Language Weeks focus on sustainability

  • 07 Mar 2022
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(Picture caption: Information and resources for the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks series can be found on the MPP website.) 

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio has announced dates for the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks series, highlighting the contribution of those who have provided lifesaving COVID-19 messages in nine Pacific languages over the past two years.

Sustainability is the theme of the 2022 series and aligns to New Zealand’s opportunity to build back better from COVID-19 as we reopen to the world and reconnect with one another, Minister Sio says.

The theme also aligns with UNESCO’s International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which recognises the right to preserve, revitalise and promote languages. 

“UNESCO says at least 40 percent of the 7,000 languages used worldwide are in danger of being lost,” the Minister adds.  

“This year’s Pacific Language Weeks series will continue to build on the successes of the previous years to encourage and drive sustainable language initiatives to reverse the decline of Pacific languages in Aotearoa.

“Our Language weeks have seen an unprecedented participation with over 2.5 million engaged users and an audience reach of over 2.1 million  across Aotearoa and beyond.

“At the same time, in the past year, over $1.5m was invested in supporting over 400 community initiatives.”

To keep our communities safe from COVID-19, all nine Pacific Language Week celebrations and events will be staged online this year, providing the opportunity for communities to reach greater audiences.

Our languages are a key cornerstone for our health and wellbeing as Pacific people, and Minister Sio says he would like to give his heartfelt thanks to those who have worked extremely hard to ensure families and communities are kept safe and well.  

Ahead of Rotuman Language Week, our first event of 2022, an online celebration will be staged to recognise the 2021 Language Champions, and the work they do to promote and nurture their respective languages.

“We know when you lose your language, your culture soon follows, and when there is no longer culture, there is a void,” the Minister says.

“Let’s prevent that void by fostering Pacific indigenous languages in our daily lives, and of course, by participating in the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks series.”

Pacific Language Week Dates 2022:

Rotuman Language Week: Sunday 8 May – Saturday 14 May 2022

Samoa Language Week: Sunday 29 May – Saturday 04 June 2022

Kiribati Language Week: Sunday 10 July – Saturday 16 July 2022

Cook Islands Language Week: Sunday 31 July  – Saturday 06 August 2022

Tonga Language Week: Sunday 04 September – Saturday 10 September 2022

Tuvalu Language Week: Sunday 25 September – Saturday 01 October 2022

Fijian Language Week: Sunday 02 October – Saturday 08 October 2022

Niue Language Week: Sunday 16 October – Saturday 22 October 2022

Tokelau Language Week: Sunday 23 October – Saturday 29 October 2022. 

Visit the MPP website for further information and resources as they become available.