Press Release – New Zealand Government
New Zealanders around the country will this week celebrate Cook Islands Language Week from 4-10 August.Cook Islands Language Week launched in West Auckland
New Zealanders around the country will this week celebrate Cook Islands Language Week from 4-10 August.
Pacific Island Affairs Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga launched celebrations today at Nor Western Cook Island Early Childhood Centre in Ranui, Auckland.
“It was an atmosphere of pride today in Ranui with many from the local community coming out to share in the Cook Islands language. It was also significant to have Cook Islands Consul General Rosie Blake and our first Member of Parliament of Cook Islands descent Alfred Ngaro to join the celebrations.”
The Minister will also kick off celebrations regionally in the Hawke’s Bay tomorrow with a Pacific playgroup in Flaxmere.
“The theme this year is ‘Ako marie i nga potiki i teia ra, kia upoko tu ratou apopo’. Meaning ‘Nurture young minds today, so they can become leaders tomorrow’.”
“It was fitting to launch our Cook Islands Language Week in an early childhood centre and a playgroup. These organisations are at the forefront of nurturing our children’s young minds and are ideally placed to promote our heritage languages to the younger generation.”
Cook Islanders make up one fifth of New Zealand’s Pacific population at just over 60,000 people, with 76 percent of the population born in New Zealand.
“Every opportunity to help ensure the language is retained for the younger generations is important and we need to support and encourage more of those opportunities in our communities.”
Mr Lotu-Iiga says one of the aims of Cook Islands Language Week is also to promote the language and culture to all New Zealanders. He says the Cook Islands have had a historically strong relationship with New Zealand and he hopes Kiwis use the language where they can.
For more information about Cook Islands Language week, including events around the country,please visit the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs website at www.mpia.govt.nz