Pacific People’s Minister Alfred Ngaro says Pacific language weeks give all New Zealanders the chance to celebrate our diversity.
“The dates for our seven Pacific language weeks are now set and I’d love to see kiwis using these weeks as an opportunity to celebrate our Pacific cultures and all that they contribute to modern New Zealand,” Mr Ngaro says.
“In my family we have three Pacific languages and cultures; Cook Island, Vagahau Niue and Gagana Samoa but I’ll be making a special effort to learn more phrases from some of the other heavenly languages of the Pacific.
There are nearly 300,000 people in New Zealand who identify as Pacific. It is the youngest and fastest growing section of our population. By 2026 People of Pacific Island descent will make up 10 per cent of New Zealand’s population.
“Pacific cultures are an integral part of New Zealand’s identity. It’s important that we recognise their contribution in a meaningful way.”
The 2017 Pacific Language Week line-up is:Samoa Language Week: Sunday 28 May – Saturday 3 June 2017 Cook Islands Language Week: Sunday 30 July – Saturday 5 August 2017 Tonga Language Week: Sunday 3 September – Saturday 9 September 2017 Tuvalu Language Week: Sunday 1 October – Saturday 7 October 2017 Fiji Language Week: Sunday 8 October – Sunday 14 October 2017 Niue Language Week: Sunday 15 October – Saturday 21 October 2017 Tokelau Language Week: Sunday 29 October – Saturday 4 November 2017
“There are plenty of activities planned for these weeks. I encourage everyone to mark the dates in the family diary and get out there and celebrate,” Mr Ngaro says.