28 Jul 2011

Cook Islands Maori dictionary crucial to survival of language

6:44 pm on 28 July 2011

The Secretary of Education in the Cook Islands says the creation of an electronic Cook Islands Maori dictionary is crucial to the survival of the language.

The Ministry of Education will collaborate with the University of the South Pacific and the Auckland University of Technology to produce the resource.

Sharon Paio says the current dictionary which is a Maori to English translation is out of print.

She says plans are underway to create an English to Maori version, which she says will help keep the language alive.

"I think from an educational point of view it would be just wonderful in our schools if we have those dictionaries in our schools available or access to the information for our students. You know we are conscious of the fact that there is a deterioration of the use of the language. And anything we can do in terms of supporting it with resources has to be good for the language."

Sharon Paio says the Ministry is now seeking funding to get the project off the ground.