Dates for Pacific Language Weeks 2023 have been announced! See below for details.
In her acknowledgement of Pacific Language Weeks 2023, Minister for Pacific Peoples Barbara Edmonds highlighted the need to revitalise and sustain languages for future generations.
“Pacific languages are a cornerstone of our health, wellbeing and identity as Pacific peoples. When our languages are spoken, heard and celebrated, our communities thrive,” Barbara Edmonds said.
“We have seen how crucial supporting our indigenous languages are in New Zealand. During the pandemic and recent extreme weather events, languages played a huge role in keeping our Pacific communities connected".
“We are continuing to deliver on commitments made in the Pacific Languages Strategy launched last year and provides a long-term approach to supporting our Pacific peoples.”
“I want to encourage everyone to get involved in the Pacific Language Weeks and celebrate each of these unique languages which enrich and diversify our country,” she said.
The overarching theme for the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks was sustainability, which aligned with our Pacific Languages Strategy and fed into the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages to sustain and revitalise heritage languages. This theme of sustainability has resonated strongly with our Pacific communities, who have agreed to carry it over for Pacific Language Weeks 2023.
Please join in with our online celebrations throughout the year and share our content to help keep our Pacific languages, cultures and identities thriving in Aotearoa. Bookmark this page for more details of activities, download our shareable resources and help spread the word.
We've collated a range of free eye-catching resources for you to download and help promote Pacific Language Weeks 2023: Download resources.
Pacific languages are a key cornerstone for the health and wellbeing of Pacific people. History shows us that a loss of language leads to a loss of culture and identity.
Language Week celebrations had their origins in Samoa in 2007 with Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa, founded by Fa’alapotopotoga mo le A’oa’oina o le Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa (FAGASA). In 2009, the Human Rights Commission came on board to support the communities and the concept of Pacific Language Weeks was born.
Since 2010, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples has been supporting Pacific Language Weeks, promoting and raising awareness of the diversity of our Pacific languages in Aotearoa. Each year, the Ministry works closely with Pacific communities’ to maintain and promote indigenous languages across the country, encouraging their use in our daily lives to help them thrive.
While each language is highlighted with a dedicated ‘week’ of activities, each event is actually a yearlong celebration of the languages, with extended activities throughout the year. These activities and language learning initiatives are led by our Pacific communities throughout Aotearoa and supported by the Ministry.