Sunday, November 28, 2021

Pacific languages survey launched

A ground-breaking survey launched today will give researchers valuable insights into the state of Pacific languages in Aotearoa, according to Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio.

The Leo Moana o Aotearoa Pacific Languages Survey is part of a wider project that will support the revitalisation, and sustainability of Te Gagana Tokelau, Vagahau Niue, Te Reo Māori Kuki ‘Āirani, Gagana Samoa, Lea Faka-Tonga, Te Gana Tuvalu, Vosa Vakaviti, Fäeag Rotųam and Te taetae ni Kiribati, he said.

“What’s special about the online survey is that it will tell us about people’s attitudes to Pacific languages in New Zealand, including the importance and value that people place on their own languages.”

It’s also the first time data about the use of Pacific languages in New Zealand has been gathered in this way, the Minister said.

“Sadly, the number of people using our languages in Aotearoa has declined over the past two decades, and in the case of some languages, to the point where we are in danger of losing some.”

“Our Pacific languages must be valued and used. They’re the cornerstone of our Pacific cultures and identities.  

“In the words of the Samoan proverb that was the theme of this year’s Samoa Language Week: Poupou le lotoifale. Ola manuia le anofale. Strengthen the posts of your house, for all to thrive. 

“We need a clear picture of the attitudes we, as Pacific peoples, have to our languages, to determine what’s most needed to carry out the necessary strengthening of the posts of our houses. 

“I encourage everyone to take part in the Leo Moana o Aotearoa Pacific Languages Survey, so we can make sure our beautiful Pacific languages are strong and resilient in the future,” said Minister Sio.

The Leo Moana o Aotearoa Pacific Languages Survey is open through December 2021. For more information and to take part, visit: https://www.mpp.govt.nz/programmes/pacific-languages-survey/

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