3 Oct 2021

Fijian Language Week begins in Aotearoa

3:04 pm on 3 October 2021

The Fijian community has launched online the beginning of Fijian Language Week, sharing events to be held across Aotearoa.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, who joined the Fijian community online, marked Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti - Fijian Language Week, welcoming this year's theme of showing how language is an important contributor to wellbeing.

"At the start of the year, our Pacific communities chose an overarching theme of wellbeing for the Pacific Language Weeks series, given the impact Covid is having on every community around Aotearoa," Minister Sio said.

This is the seventh of nine Pacific Language Weeks to be held this year and the theme is, Noqu Vosa ai vakadei ni noqu Tiko Vinaka, which in English means, My language provides stability to my wellbeing.

"Measures of wellbeing include life satisfaction, finances, health, housing, human rights, and relationships and for our Pacific communities, cultural identity and knowledge of language, values and beliefs is a major contributor to wellbeing.

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Photo: Jogai Bhatt

Knowledge of self, of cultural identity, values and language gives people a sense of pride to stand strong in who they are, which in turn provides a sense of wellbeing," he said.

Due to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions in Auckland, and Delta level 2 for the rest of Aotearoa, Fijian Language Week has been shifted online for all activities.

Covid-19 has presented many challenges to the wellbeing of our community, a key component to our Covid recovery is getting vaccinated.

During the Fijian Language Week a vaccination drive in Auckland will be held from Thursday 7 October to Saturday 9 October, at Mangere Centre Park.

"Guided by the community, Fijian Language Week will incorporate its theme into online activities and events, including the announcement of Language Champion Honours.

The inclusion of Language Champion Honours as part of the Pacific Language Weeks, has been celebrated at language week closing ceremonies and is one the key transitional changes implemented this year.


.. Photo: Facebook/NZFLW

Our Pacific communities voice we needed to acknowledge the significant contribution, service, and leadership, made by Pacific pioneers, past and present, who have championed their language in Aotearoa, and it has become a highlight of the language weeks this year," Sio said.

A thriving community of 19,722 people, according to the 2018 Census, identify as being Fijian and call New Zealand home. This number has increased from 9,861 in 2006.

"Let's celebrate with our Fijian community and embrace this wonderful language and culture woven into the fabric of Aotearoa," Minister Sio said.

Fijian Language Week runs from the 3 October and concludes on the 9 October.