8 Oct 2018

Bula - celebrating Fijian Language Week

10:04 am on 8 October 2018

New Zealand's Minister of Pacific Peoples says there should be more interest in the language of Fiji as it's a significant trading partner.

Aupito Su'a William Sio said learning more about anyone's language or culture opens a pathway for communication and commerce.

This week New Zealand celebrates its sixth Fijian Language Week - Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti - with the theme 'Noqu Vosa Me'u Bula Taka' meaning My language, Learn it, Speak it, Live it.

Aupito said language and culture is vital for all Pacific peoples in New Zealand to have a stronger sense of belonging and general well-being.

"Pacific languages are also avenues to trade and commerce," he said.

Aupito said New Zealand exporters would be wise to invest in the language as well.

"We export to Fiji in the vicinity of $693-million a year and that's really important. And I'm told by businesses in the Fijian community that understanding the Fijian language and culture is so important in establishing those good business relationships."

The Labour spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Su'a William Sio.

Minister of Pacific Peoples, Aupito Su'a William Sio. Photo: RNZ/Daniela Maoate-Cox