31 May 2012

Samoan families in New Zealand encouraged to speak language at home

2:33 pm on 31 May 2012

The Samoan community in New Zealand is being encouraged to keep the language alive by speaking it in the home.

New Zealand's Minister of Pacific Island affairs hosted an event this week to mark the 50th anniversary of Samoa's independence, and Samoan language week.

With the Samoan language being the third most spoken language in New Zealand, steps have been taken to promote the language and it's now a recognised high school subject.

Hekia Parata, who is also the Minister of Education, told the gathering that the government can only do so much.

"So if you are the bearers of Samoan language, you need to be ensuring that your children and grandchildren also are speaking Samoan, don't wait till the language is just about lost, you've got it now."

Hekia Parata says she would like to see improvements in the attendance rates of Samoan children in early childhood centres.