2 Jun 2010

University's Samoan Studies dept celebrates milestone

8:31 pm on 2 June 2010

Victoria University's Vaomanū Pasifika Samoan Studies in Wellington is celebrating 21 years of offering a successful language programme in New Zealand.

Students have the opportunity to study Pacific Studies and or Samoan Studies.

It is the only university in the country that offers Samoan as an undergraduate major in the Bachelor of Arts degree.

The celebrations have been timed to coincide with the end of Samoan Language week on Saturday.

Samoan Programme Director Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin says he's been there since its humble beginnings and seen many students benefit .

"It was amazing the research that they've gotten into. Things such as mythological beginnings of Faasamoa. The religious impact of christianity on the culture. The importance of language and identy. NZ born identity. And a whole lot of issues which is quite a rewarding thing to listen to youngsters studying it and thinking about it. It just seems like only yesterday I came here. Its been a wonderful 21 years."

Victoria University's Vaomanu Pasifika Samoan Studies Programme Director Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin