1 Aug 2011

New technologies advocated as one way to ensure Pacific languages survive

3:29 pm on 1 August 2011

New media could be used more often to help ensure the survival of Pacific languages in New Zealand.

A debate on the way forward for Pacific languages was held last week in Auckland at UNITECH university and was also relayed online.

And business commentator, Rod Oram, says Pacific communities could better embrace such new technologies to ensure greater usage.

"So how do facebook, and texting, and twitter, play their role in this, because I could easily imagine that many of those wonderful Pacific Island languages could contribute wonderful words to everyday New Zealand life, in much the same way as Maori has over the years."

Rod Oram says he also thinks the use of Pacific languages in contemporary culture is another way of ensuring it's spoken more often in mainstream society.

A petition with over 5000 signatures is to be presented to Parliament this Thursday, calling for New Zealand to better recognize Pacific languages, such as Niuean, Cook Islands Maori, Tokelauan, Samoan and Tongan.