Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Pacific Language Weeks to grow in 2024

The Pacific Language Weeks series will have a new look in 2024 with the introduction of Solomon Islands Pidgin and Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin, Pacific Peoples Minister, Barbara Edmonds, announced today.

“Our annual Language Weeks series is aimed revitalising and supporting Pacific languages, cultures and identities,” Minister Edmonds said.

“Next year we’re expanding to formally include Solomon Islands Pidgin and Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin, bringing our total number of language weeks to 11.

“This decision reflects the passion of our Melanesian communities to share and celebrate their culture with more Kiwis across the country.”

The Minister said more than 800 Solomon Islanders and 1,200 Papua New Guinean people call New Zealand shores home, with both groups fast growing and increasingly born here.

“That’s why it’s a critical time for their inclusion in the Pacific Language Weeks,” she said.

“Experiences of other Pacific and migrant nations illustrate the risks of languages and cultural identities being lost among our young people if we don’t act now. We know that it only takes one generation to lose a language and three generations to gain it back.”

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples will provide tailored support to the two new language weeks through the creation of resources, engagement with community groups, and funding to enable year-long language learning initiatives.

“I look forward to seeing more of our Pacific languages being spoken, heard and celebrated in 2024, as we continue to raise awareness of how diverse our Pacific communities truly are,” Ms Edmonds said.

The 2024 Pacific Language Weeks series will celebrate 11 Pacific languages and cultures throughout the year, including Rotuman, Samoan, Kiribati, Solomon Islands Pidgin, Cook Islands Māori, Tongan, Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin, Tuvaluan, Fijian, Niuean, and Tokelauan.

More information on the Language Week series can be found on the Ministry for Pacific People’s website.

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