Community Languages Fund supports new beginnings

posted: 9:00 pm - 25th October 2020
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 Tokelau Online - Kupu o te aho targets those starting on the journey of discovering their mother tongue, or anyone interested in the beautiful Tokelau language. 

Kiwi-Tokelauan Matt Ineleo (pictured) helps run the online language platform and says the initiative is a small simple way for people to practise every-day Tokelau language. 

“It aims to provide a simple and safe way to practise the basics at your pace and at your place,” Matt says. 

“The good thing about it is you can try the words out without any fears at all, and once you get your confidence up, you can start to use it more and develop your language from there.” 

Tokelau Online is a recipient of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Community Languages Fund (round one), and Matt says the financial assistance has helped to provide the equipment the group needed to start its channel, and to  continue to grow it. 

Born and raised in Wellington with parents Maleko and Samoa who left Tokelau to seek greater opportunities for the future, Matt moved to Auckland where he has been involved with Auckland Tokelau Society. 

“It has been a privilege to continuing the great work our elders have started here in Auckland,” he adds. 

The online platform is primarily aimed at Tokelauans living in New Zealand and abroad, who are a bit too shy to try and learn their language in a public forum. 

“We can be shy at times, so I hope this inspires those to just give it a go. 

“I am definitely in that boat and I also have a lot to learn myself, but I see this as a way for me to keep learning at the same time as helping others. 

“I’ve come to realise our shyness can really hold us back and we should never let that happen - we all need to play our part whether it be learning for the first time or being a positive support for those we see making an effort.” 

Tokelau Online is really a labour of love, and one where Matt hopes it provides people the push-start, they need to just give the language a try. 

“Our language is within each of us, we just need to be confident to take action and continually learn one step at a time. 

“Fakafetai lahi lele ki te Ministry for Pacific Peoples for the opportunity to make a difference to our people in New Zealand and around the world.” 

Visit HERE for the first Tokelau Online video. 

Applications for round two of the Community Languages Fund are now open. This is the final round of the Fund for 2020. After the success of round one, community groups can now apply for up to $10,000 to support language initiatives. Visit HERE to apply before 12pm on October 28.