Pacific Language weeks announced

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio has announced the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks series, highlighting the contribution of those who have provided life-saving Covid-19 messages in the nine Pacific Island languages over the past two years.

The series will also align with the start of the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

“Sustainability is the theme of 2022 and aligns to New Zealand’s opportunity to build back better from Covid-19 as we reopen to the world and reconnect with one another,” Aupito William Sio said.

“This theme also aligns with UNESCO’s International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which recognises the right to preserve, revitalise and promote languages.

“UNESCO says at least 40 percent of the 7,000 languages used worldwide are in danger of being lost.

“This year’s Pacific Language Weeks series will continue to build on the successes of the previous years to encourage and drive sustainable language initiatives to reverse the decline of Pacific languages in Aotearoa.

“ Our Language weeks have seen an unprecedented participation with over 2.5 million  engaged users and an audience reach of over 2.1 million  across Aotearoa and beyond. At the same time, in the past year, over $1.5m was invested in supporting over 400 community initiatives

“To keep our communities safe from Covid-19, all nine Pacific Language Weeks celebrations and events will be staged online this year, providing the opportunity for communities to reach greater audiences.

“Our languages are a key cornerstone for our health and wellbeing as Pacific people, and I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to those who have worked extremely hard to ensure that our families and our communities are kept safe and well.

“Ahead of the first Pacific Language Week of 2022, an online event will be staged to recognise the 2021 Language Champions, and the work they do to promote and nurture their respective languages.

“We know when you lose your language, your culture soon follows, and when there is no longer culture, there is a void.

“Let’s prevent that void by fostering Pacific indigenous languages in our daily lives, and of course, by participating in the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks series,” Aupito William Sio said.

Pacific Language Week Dates 2022:

  • Rotuman Language Week: Sunday 8 May – Saturday 14 May 2022
  • Samoa Language Week: Sunday 29 May – Saturday 04 June 2022
  • Kiribati Language Week: Sunday 10 July – Saturday 16 July 2022
  • Cook Islands Language Week: Sunday 31 July  – Saturday 06 August 2022
  • Tonga Language Week: Sunday 04 September – Saturday 10 September 2022
  • Tuvalu Language Week: Sunday 25 September – Saturday 01 October 2022
  • Fijian Language Week: Sunday 02 October – Saturday 08 October 2022
  • Niue Language Week: Sunday 16 October – Saturday 22 October 2022
  • Tokelau Language Week: Sunday 23 October – Saturday 29 October 2022.