28 Mar 2011

Petition for official recognition of Pacific Languages in NZ

6:40 pm on 28 March 2011

A petition is circulating to get some Pacific languages officially recognised as minority languages in New Zealand.

Already 4,000 people have signed the petition earmarked for parliament, in support of the Niuean, Cook Islands Maori, Tokelauan, Samoan and Tongan languages.

The Bilingual Leo Pacific Coalition hopes its petition can lend support for a parliamentary bill on Pacific languages.

Supporter Judy Tagilau McFall-McCaffery says the coalition's petition has had support from New Zealand and around the region, for a variety of reasons.

"The issue around languages, it's about educational rights. It's about cultural rights, and language rights for Pacific peoples in New Zealand, as well as in the Realm of New Zealand, that includes, Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands."

Judy Tagilau McFall-McCaffery