New Zealand doesn’t have enough parents from Pacific communities – Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau in particular – speaking indigenous languages to be able to speak to their children. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports on a threat to vulnerable languages.
Report – By Eva Corlett
Pasifika and Māori cultural well-being is under threat through the decline of native language speakers – with some Pacific languages tipped to disappear this generation if the New Zealand government does not act now, say many linguists.
A recent Victoria University report indicates growing inequality in areas such as smoking, obesity, employment, tertiary degrees, beneficiary agreements and income of Pacific and Māori people within New Zealand.
“Loss of language always occurs first among the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups in society,” says University of Auckland Professor Stephen May – an international and national authority on bilingualism and language rights – as Tongan Language Week opens tomorrow. Read more »