27 Oct 2012

First-ever Tokelau Language Week coming up

3:45 pm on 27 October 2012

The falling use of the Tokelauan language in New Zealand has prompted the first-ever Tokelau Language Week, which will be held in the week beginning Monday 29 October.

An official from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Hekea Robertson, says since the 2001 census there has been a 4% drop in the number of those speaking Tokelauan.

He says about 40% of the 8000 Tokelauans in the country are using the language conversationally.

Mr Robertson says there is a strong desire to retain the language but it needs more promotion.

He says part of the message of the language week is that it is the responsibility of the Tokelauan community to keep its language alive by taking ownership of it and promoting it.