Celebrating Tokelau Language Week
Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is encouraging the Tokelauan community to take every opportunity to share their language with the wider community during Tokelau Language Week, which starts today.
“New Zealand is home to the largest Tokelauan population in the world. Our two nations have a close constitutional, political and social relationship,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“Tokelauan communities in New Zealand are strong and vibrant. Tokelau Language Week is a chance to celebrate the distinct Tokelauan way of life and language, and helps keep the culture alive for future generations.”
“According to the last Census 7,176 people in New Zealand identified as Tokelauan. Nearly a third can speak the language and that number is declining.”
Nearly half the Tokelauan community live in Wellington, with smaller communities in Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Palmerston North and Dunedin.
“This year’s language week theme as chosen by the Tokelauan community is ‘Pokotau ki au kapuga – ke mau mai tau foe’. This translates as ‘Challenge the size of the swirl made by your paddle’.”
“This encourages Tokelauan families to take every opportunity available to learn, teach and hold on to their language, culture and identity,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“This year the Ministry for Pacific Peoples has worked with Tokelauan leaders and their communities to develop a free educational resource to help everyone learn more about this Pacific nation’s language and culture.”
Tokelau Language Week finishes on Saturday 29 October.
A full calendar of Tokelau Language Week events and the educational resource are available here.
The social media hashtag is #TokelauLanguageWeek.