6 Aug 2013

Cook Islands community in NZ wants more done to preserve language

4:27 am on 6 August 2013

The Cook Islands community in New Zealand says while good work is being done in early education, much more needs to be done to preserve the Cook Islands language for future generations.

It is Cook Islands Language Week in New Zealand, which encourages the community to embrace, promote and protect their language.

Te Punanga O Te Reo Kuki Airani is a Wellington early childhood education centre.

It's supervisor, Bridget Kauraka, says the centre gives children a very good foundation in the Reo Cook Island Maori.

But she says it's difficult for the students to hold on to the language, as they move onto primary, intermediate and high school.

"Some they do, but we would like to extend it to the next level of their education. That's the saddest part about it. We teachers, the Cook Island teachers, we have to try and come together to put something in place so that the children will carry on the reo maori. Right now we haven't got that in place."

Bridget Kauraka says however, she's very happy to be able to celebrate Cook Islands language week, and to know that it is recognised in New Zealand.