Press Release – New Zealand Government
Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Hekia Parata, says the first-ever Fijian Language Week provides a chance for all New Zealanders to celebrate Fijian culture and help to ensure the survival of the Fijian language.Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
7 October 2013 Media Statement
Inaugural Fijian Language Week launches today
Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Hekia Parata, says the first-ever Fijian Language Week provides a chance for all New Zealanders to celebrate Fijian culture and help to ensure the survival of the Fijian language.
“Fijian Language Week will run from October 7-13 with the theme, Noqu Vosa, Noqu iYau Talei: My Language, My Treasure, providing a strong focus for events around the country,” Ms Parata says.
“The Fijian community in New Zealand is small, but passionate. They recognise the importance of safeguarding their language and culture for future generations and the enhanced educational outcomes that stem from speaking two languages well.”
This is the fifth Pacific Language Week to be held this year following the Samoan, Cook Islands, Tongan and Tuvaluan Language Weeks.
“Pacific language weeks have laid the platform for a revitalisation of Pacific language and culture this year. Last week the Tuvalu community got in behind their inaugural language week and now it is the turn of the Fijian community to celebrate.”
Fijian Language Week is promoted by the Auckland Fiji Community, Wellington Fijian Language Week Komiti and the Canterbury Fiji Community with support from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Victoria University, Pasifika Education Centre, Te Papa, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, community members and other organisations.
Census 2006 showed there were almost 10,000 Fijians in New Zealand making them the fifth-largest Pacific group in the country.
“I encourage you to experience a Fiji language week event where you will discover Fijian music, language, culture and contribute to the preserving of Fijian language and culture in New Zealand.”
Ms Parata said supporting Pacific communities to celebrate their languages and cultures was one of her priorities as Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and deeply relevant to her education portfolio.