7 Aug 2012

First Cook Islands Language Week launched in NZ

3:05 pm on 7 August 2012

The first New Zealand week-long celebration of the Cook Islands language is being described as a step in the right direction, but there is a call for the government to do more to promote bi-lingual education.

The opposition MP Su'a William Sio says almost 80 percent of Cook Islanders living and going to school in Auckland cannot speak their own language.

The theme for the Language Week is: Taku reo ko toku ia akairo - my language gives meaning to my existence and identity.

Su'a says he remains concerned by the removal of Pacific language learning programmes from the government's education strategy, and wants them brought back to the curriculum.