30 Aug 2011

New push for use of Pacific languages in NZ

1:00 pm on 30 August 2011

The New Zealand Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs is gauging community views on its draft Pacific Languages Framework.

It aims to promote and protect the use of such heritage languages in New Zealand over the next 25 years.

The ministry's chief executive, Colin Tukuitonga, says there are many academic, social and economic reasons to use one's Pacific language more, especially at home.

He says evidence indicates if action isn't taken, heritage languages will be lost.

"So that's why we thought we should push the framework to try and get a coordinated approach to all supporting the use of all Pasifika languages in New Zealand. So that's how the framework has developed, and currently we are obviously consulting communities, academics, and other stakeholders to see and to make sure that we have the best proposal to put forward to Government."

Colin Tukuitonga

The meetings are being held as far north as Whanagarei and as far south as Dunedin.