29 May 2014

NZ Samoan church leader calls for Samoan Culture Week

8:36 am on 29 May 2014

A Samoan church leader says a week dedicated to the Samoan language in New Zealand is not enough and a Samoan Culture Week would be more appropriate.

Samoan Language Week was first celebrated in 2007 and leads a line-up of seven Pacific language events in New Zealand this year.

Samoan is the third most spoken language in the country.

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Photo: RNZ

The Reverend Tavita Filemoni, who is based in Wellington, says he would prefer the government focussed on more than just language.

"We often talk about the approach to deal with Pacific issues as a holistic approach. We often say that. Now, we can't say that, and then contradict ourselves by actually focussing on one aspect of who we are as Samoans. We need to focus on the whole aspect of being Samoan in Aotearoa, bringing in, you know, our values."

Reverend Tavita Filemoni says churches play a vital role in teaching the language in New Zealand but the government also needs to commit more resources.