2 Feb 2012

Parata open to talks on improving status of Pacific languages

8:41 pm on 2 February 2012

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Hekia Parata says she is open to discussion about officially recognising Pacific languages in New Zealand.

A group of educators, the Bilingual Leo Pacific Coalition, is campaigning for official minority status for five Pacific languages to protect, maintain and revive them in Aotearoa.

The Maori Language Commission and former Labour MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban support the call.

Ms Parata says it is too early to make commitments about the status of Pacific languages without more information, but she is willing to discuss it.

She says her involvement in campaigning for official recognition of te reo Maori means she understands the arguments.