14 Oct 2010

Anger at New Zealand putting publication of Pacific language resources on hold

7:43 pm on 14 October 2010

Pacific leaders in education are outraged at the New Zealand Education Ministry's decision to suspend some Pacific language resources.

The Ministry says it has paused the publication of the Tupu book series and the Samoan school journal, Folauga to allow officials to investigate better ways to support Pasifika students with English literacy.

The books are distributed throughout New Zealand and the Pacific including Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.

The President of the Samoan Teachers and Parents Association for Teaching of Samoan Language, Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, says withholding these resources could have a detrimental effect on students.

"It affects not just us here in New Zealand but also in the Pacific. And of course these languages are very much, and particularly the Niuean and Cook Island and the Tokelauan language, they're very much threatened. This move means that these children will not be able to have access to any reading resources which are very much needed for literacy."

Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin says he is also concerned Pacific employees involved with the production of the materials may lose their jobs due to the publications being axed.