6 Aug 2017

Tuatua Mai! - Speak it!

From The House, 7:32 am on 6 August 2017

For the past six years, one week has been set aside to celebrate the language of the Cook Islands.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro

Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

Seven language weeks are held each year by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to promote and maintain heritage languages.

But even with this support, the statistics paint an alarming picture: Out of the 61,000 people who identified as Cook Island in the 2013 census, only 13 percent said they can speak the language. 

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Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

National’s Alfred Ngaro and Labour’s Poto Williams share what Cook Island Language Week means for them and PYLAT's Josiah Tualamali'i discusses whether speaking Pacific languages in the House would engage more Pacific youth with their language and politics. 

Chair of PYLAT Josiah Tualamali'i.

Chair of PYLAT Josiah Tualamali'i. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox