18 Dec 2013

NZ parliamentary report seen as blow to raising Pasifika achievement

11:22 am on 18 December 2013

The head of Samoan studies at Victoria University in Wellington says a parliamentary inquiry into Pacific languages in early childhood education has dealt a blow to Pasifika achievement.

A majority report by the education and science select committee has found the New Zealand Government has no legal obligation to promote Pacific languages or Pacific-language education.

Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin says it's a report by monolinguists that ignores international and local evidence.

"We are hoping for them to recognise the power of bilingual education as the only logical solution to the problem of failure in the classroom by Pacific students but the government is conveniently side tracked the arguement and opted to say they are not responsible for maintaining Pacific languages in this country and as far as they are concerned they can die here."

The opposition Labour and Green parties issued dissenting minority views, and Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin says a change in Government is now the main hope for Pacific languages.