24 Sep 2022

Radio stations unite to improve usage of indigenous languages

9:36 am on 24 September 2022

Two radio stations linked to the French Pacific's decolonisation movements want to co-operate to lift the use of indigenous languages.

Radio Tefana

Radio Tefana Photo: supplied FB

The heads of Radio Tefana in French Polynesia and Radio Djiido in New Caledonia said this is in line with the United Nations declaring the next 10 years as the decade of vernacular languages.

Tahiti Nui TV said a member of Radio Djiido, Kengy Wiwale-Hauata, said New Caledonia has 30 local languages and they are all honoured on the radio every day.

The two stations plan to expand cooperation in the region, considering partnerships with Wallis and Futuna, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji.

The two stations were set up in the 1980s when the pro-independence movements were led by Oscar Temaru and Jean-Marie Tjibaou respectively, and both broadcast on the frequency 97.4FM.

Radio Tefana is threatened with closure because of a $US1 million fine given three years ago when Temaru was handed a suspended prison sentence over the station's funding arrangement.

The conviction has been appealed but a hearing of the case has been deferred for a fifth time until next year.