1 Dec 2011

Symposium highlights Pacific language need

4:56 pm on 1 December 2011

The director of Samoan studies at Victoria University says only 44 percent of Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand speak their native language.

Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin made the comment during a symposium this week aimed at ensuring the Pacific languages survive.

He says programmes need to be put in place at schools.

"Pacific languages could be part of our diet. I think if you develop a bilingual programme that goes a long well you won't lose out on English, and you won't lose out on the language."

Galumalemana Alfed hunkin.

The symposium comes after unsuccessful efforts to have a number of Pacific languages declared official languages of New Zealand.