30 May 2020

Samoan minister in NZ calls for early focus on Pacific languages

11:31 am on 30 May 2020

An Samoan church minister in New Zealand is calling for a renewed focus on Pacific languages at a formative stage.

Fa'a Samoa: Nora Lepaila teaches her class the Samoan language.

Photo: Tine o Tasi Centre

Reverend Nove Vaila'au said some of the unannounced $NZ80 million worth of Pasifika education initiatives in this year's Budget should focus on ensuring Pacific children receive language lessons in their mother tongue.

The faife'au, who has been recognised for his work promoting Aoga Amata language nests, said Pacific languages have to be part of Aotearoa's identity.

"We need to promote culture and language and the identity of New Zealand as a completely different environment to make the economic development of New Zealand a completely unique culture rather than just following the Western culture and the English language."