Kiwis Celebrate Samoan Language

Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoan Week

‘Strong & Respectful Bonds’

Hekia Parata, local MP and Pacific Island Affairs Minister, says ‘Talofa Lava’ to Kāpiti — and is encouraging everyone to take part in Samoan language week which begins tomorrow.

She says: “The theme this year, O le vāfealoa’i: strong and respectful relationships, is a fitting theme for this years’ Samoan language week, as Samoa also celebrates 50 years of independence and the signing of a Treaty of Friendship with New Zealand.”

“I congratulate the Samoan community for leading the way and taking charge of their language and heritage,” she says.

“This can only be led by the community which it serves, and Samoans do this very well with this initiative.”

Independence signing,1962

The Samoan population makes up almost half of the Pacific population in New Zealand. By 2026 it is expected that one in ten people in New Zealand will be of Pacific descent.

Samoan language is the third most commonly spoken in New Zealand, and the second most-spoken in Auckland.

Ms Parata says: “As a Government we support Pacific languages at early childhood level where our communities are well and truly engaged at the heart of these centres.

“Community-driven initiatives, such as this reflect how important identity, language and culture are. I encourage everyone to have fun and get involved. Ia manuia le vaiaso.”

The Human Rights Commission and FAGASA (the Association for the Teaching of Samoa in Aotearoa), lead the promotion of Samoan language week and associated activities.

For more information about Samoan Language week, visit the Human Rights Commission website: http://www.hrc.co.nz/race-relations/samoan-language-week.

Ia soifua ma ia manuia.