11 Aug 2014

Cooks language commission needed

11:06 am on 11 August 2014

The Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand says a language commission might be necessary to preserve Cook Island Maori.

Four times the number of Cook Islanders live in New Zealand than in the Cook Islands but only 13 per cent of them can speak the language.

Speech competitions, craft workshops and dance performances have been held throughout the country as part of Cook Islands Language week but the High Commissioner, Tekaotiki Matapo, says one week a year isn't enough.

"Everybody likes to dance to sing, do our kids understand the meaning of our songs and all that? Doubt it, but we're gonna seek help whether it's from Maori, the Government, or wherever, I think there's got to be some concerted effort in setting up the language commission that was mentioned"

Tekaotiki Matapo says the language week events will be reviewed and used to create longer term strategies to promote Cook Island Maori in New Zealand.