29 Jul 2011

Strong demand from teachers for Cook Islands Maori dictionary

3:11 pm on 29 July 2011

An advocate for the Cook Islands Maori language in New Zealand says there is strong demand from teachers for a new dictionary.

The Cook Islands Education Ministry is planning to create an electronic version of the Cook Islands Maori dictionary as the print form has been sold out and is out of print.

A spokeswoman from the Christchurch-based Cook Islands charitable trust Turama Kuki Airani, Jeannie Pera, says teachers have struggled for years to get resources on the language.

"This is the right time for that and there's a lot of need for it at the moment, especially with what we're experiencing here in New Zealand with only six percent of us that can actually fluently speak the language. And I believe also with it being available online, because most people have access to technology."

Jeannie Pera says the resource could be instrumental in keeping the language alive through the next generations of Cook Islanders living in New Zealand.