Niue Language Week lays foundations for future generations

posted: 8:00 pm - 18th October 2020
Poster Niue Language Week 2024

(Picture caption: The 2020 Niue Language Week runs from October 18-24, and a range of activities are being hosted online, on the official New Zealand Niue Language Week Facebook page.) 

Now in its ninth year, the 2020 Niue Language Week is focused on laying the foundations to give rise to Vagahau Niue for future generations. 

This year’s theme Faliki e tau momoui he tau atuhau ke he Vagahau Niue, or in English, Lay the foundations - give rise to Vagahau Niue for generations, reminds us of the need to not only respect and treasure our languages and cultures but to work daily to ensure their foundation for generations to come. 

Secretary for Pacific Peoples and Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Chief Executive Laulu Mac Leauanae says Niue Language Week has been celebrated since 2012 as part of MPP’s Pacific Language Weeks programme, and it continues to grow as more people around New Zealand embrace this unique culture which contributes so much to Pacific Aotearoa. 

“Niueans comprise the fourth largest Pacific community living in Aotearoa New Zealand with 30,867 people, with 75 per cent living in Auckland according to the 2018 Census,” Laulu says. 

“As Pacific peoples, our languages and cultures are the bedrock of who we are. 

"Our identity, our sense of belonging and our wellbeing both today and for the future, depend on our ability to express ourselves in our own languages – and Niue Language Week provides the opportunity for people to connect to this vibrant culture and heritage.”  

Maintaining a strong connection to our heritage gives us confidence and unique insights to the challenges we face today, he adds. 

“We take everything we have learnt from our families with us, sharing with everyone we meet along the way.

"One of our greatest treasures is the diversity of the languages and cultures of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Over the past year, MPP has delivered innovative, tailored messages to Pacific Aotearoa in our nine Pacific languages across all media platforms to support the Government’s COVID-19 messaging and other initiatives, Laulu explains.

“This has not only helped support Pacific communities, ensuring their safety and wellbeing, but showed them the respect  in recognising the importance of communicating vital information in our Pacific languages.”

Niue aka the rock of Polynesia, is a self-governing nation and a member of the Realm of New Zealand.

A highlight of Niue Language Week is the celebration of Aho Pulefakamotu or Constitution Day, which is commemorated on October 19, and will signal 46 years since Niue became a self-governing nation in 1974.

Niue Language Week runs from October 18-24 and its launch and a range of activities are being hosted online, on the official New Zealand Niue Language Week Facebook page.

All New Zealanders are being encouraged to use some simple Niuean greetings and phrases during Niue Language Week, and to make sure you take time to understand what these words mean and the stories they carry.

Visit MPP for further information and language resources.