The reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Languages Funding in 2021 will ensure there is a future for Pacific languages.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio says language is the key to the wellbeing for Pacific people, and it affirms our identity as Pasifika while strengthening our communities.
In 2019, the Wellbeing Budget delivered a $20 million package to MPP over four years to support the revitalisation of Pacific languages.
The Languages Funding will lay the foundations for making sure Pacific languages flourish in Aotearoa, the Minister says.
Three types of funding are being offered this year - the Community Languages Fund (CLF), the Provider Languages Fund (PLF), and the new Pacific Youth Language Fund.
“The Community Languages Fund will support community groups, families and churches to innovate and develop their own ways to revitalise Pacific languages close to home, while the Provider fund will be aimed at established language learning providers with over five years’ experience,” Minister Sio says.
“Meanwhile the Pacific Youth Languages Fund, a new addition in 2021, will target Pacific youth.”
Crucial to the success of the Languages Funding is the addition of new funding workshops to be held throughout the year.
These workshops will coach the community through the funding process and provide the skills to deliver successful applications.
Minister Sio says the Languages Funding has been hugely successful in raising awareness and increasing the use of Pacific languages, and last year, the Community Language Fund supported 344 community groups with over $850,000.
The funding has meant groups like Pukepuke ‘O Tonga in Auckland were able to fund a safe space to learn the Tongan language through song and dance, he adds.
“Pukepuke ‘O Tonga says their students grew in confidence and they felt a sense of purpose and pride in their identity.
“Language is one of the pillars of our identity and the Government believes Pacific languages deserve to thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand and we are already doing critical work as the guardians of their precious languages.
“This funding is about offering them the financial means to increase their work,” Minister Sio says.
In response to overwhelming feedback from the Pacific community, the CLF will be open for the whole year.
Additionally, the PLF will have three rounds in 2021, enabling our communities to plan better.
Visit MPP’s website for more information.