Our Language is the Heart of Our People

posted: 12:25 am - 14th October 2017
Niuean Language Week 2017 Poster3

Ministry for Pacific Peoples Chief Executive Laulu Mac Leauanae is urging all New Zealanders to get behind Niuean Language Week.

The theme, ‘Ko e Vagahau Niue ko e Atefua he Tagata Niue’ - The Niue Language is the Heart of Niue People, is a message to all Niueans, to speak and retain their language or it will eventually be lost.

Vagahau Niuean Language Week is an annual celebration for the Niuean communities in New Zealand.

“Celebrating Niuean Language Week is an opportunity for all New Zealanders to make an effort to embrace the Niuean language,” says Laulu.

“Let’s have a go this week by learning some Niuean phrases like Fakaalofa atu [Hello], Malolo nakai a koe? [How are you?], Koe kia [Good-bye] and share the Niuean language with friends and work colleagues.”

The language week is championed by Vagahau Niue Trust, supported by the Ministry.

“We have a strong working relationship with the Trust, that supports the planned activities for the week, with the purpose of retaining the Niuean language and culture for future generations.”

“It is important to promote the teaching and learning of the Niuean language at home, at work, in schools and in everyday conversations,” says Laulu.

According to the Census 2013, approximately 23,833 people, or 8.1 percent, of New Zealand’s Pacific population identified as Niuean.

Between 2006 and 2013, the population increased by 6.2 percent. This compares with an increase of 11.6 percent between 2001 and 2006.

The Niuean Language Week calendar of events and educational resource are available at mpp.govt.nz

Niuean Language Week begins October 15 and concludes October 21. It will be followed by Tokelauan Language Week (23-29 October), the finale of a series of Pacific Language Weeks held throughout 2017.

ENDS.

For further information please contact Communications, Media and Marketing on 022 043 0701.