5 October, 2012
Niuean Language Week 6 – 13 October 2012
Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Hekia Parata, welcomes the first Niuean language week which goes from 6-13 October.
“The theme for Niue Language Week is ‘fakamau, fakamanatu mo e fakaaoga tumau e vagahau Niue - maintain, retain and develop the Niue language,” says Ms Parata.
“Although the home island population may be small, Niueans in New Zealand are our fourth-largest Pacific group, contributing to our diverse Pacific population.”
In 2006, only 25 per cent of the Niuean population in New Zealand were able to hold an everyday conversation in vagahau Niue, down two percentage points since 2001.
“Nurturing and retaining diverse cultures and languages also enrich us as a nation. I congratulate the Niuean community for taking charge of their language and heritage. This can only be led by the community which it serves.
Niuean Language Week is organised largely by the Vagahau Niue Trust and Matakau Pulefakamotu Niue Okalana, with support from the Pacific Island Affairs Ministry.
“Being strong and confident in one’s heritage languages contributes to Pacific peoples’ cultural, social and economic prospects.” says Ms Parata.
The Ministry is working with seven Pacific communities to implement community-driven initiatives, under the Pacific Languages Framework, to promote and revitalise heritage languages.
For more information about Niuean Language Week, visit www.hrc.co.nz