Pacific Island Affairs Minister Hekia Parata says the inaugural Cook Islands Language Week is a great initiative from a community concerned about its heritage language.
“I encourage everyone to take part in the Epetoma o Te Reo Maori Kuki Airani (Cook Islands Language Week) celebrations,” Ms Parata said.
“The theme for the inaugural national celebration, “Taku reo ko toku ia akairo - my language gives me meaning”, provides a strong focus for events happening across the country. “I congratulate the Cook Island community for leading the way and taking charge of their language and heritage.”
The Cook Islands population makes up 22 per cent of the Pacific population in New Zealand. Approximately one in six can speak their heritage language, Cook Islands Maori.
“The National-led government supports Pacific languages firstly as community led initiatives and at early childhood centres where our communities are well and truly engaged.
“Community-driven initiatives, such as language weeks, reflect how important identity, language and culture are. I encourage everyone to have fun and get involved.”
CIDANZ (Cook Islands Development Agency of New Zealand) leads the promotion of Cook Islands language week and associated activities.
E kia Manuia