Auckland urged to support Pasifika languages
The Pacific Islands affairs spokesperson of New Zealand's Labour party is calling on the Auckland Council to show the National government it believes in the benefits of a multilingual society.
The Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson of New Zealand's opposition Labour Party is calling on the Auckland Council to show the national government it believes in the benefits of a multilingual society.
Su'a William Sio says the government, in its refusal to adopt a national language policy, has turned its back on Pasifika and Asian languages.
Mr Sio told Koroi Hawkins having citizens who are able to communicate effectively in more than one language is of social, cultural and economic benefit to New Zealand.
SUA WILLIAM SIO: Government really has failed to acknowledge and recognise the value of Pasifika language the value of Pacific bilingual education and they fail to recognise its value when they remove Pacific bilingual language education from the Pacific education strategy. And also when they denied funding ongoing resources such as Tupu series and the Folauga journals. So tomorrow what will happen is a group of academics and concerned citizens of Auckland will be presenting to Auckland council a proposal for Auckland to adopt a multilingual language policy which within that is a call to develop a strong strategy and establish good policy that will promote Maori, Pasifika and other Asian languages.
KOROI HAWKINS: And why is it that the government has taken this direction, have they given any reason as to why they have chosen to go down the path they have?
SWS: No they haven't been upfront about the reasons why but I suspect it is the old colonial the white colonial attitude that English is the language of the world and English is the language of the government therefore everybody else must follow suit. But this is the twenty first century where we have seen examples of countries such as Europe and Asia where they recognise the value of language and provide multilingual language education to all their citizens and recognise not just one but a number of community languages as well as official languages because they see the benefits of a vibrant and exciting community when people speak more than one language. But this government doesn't see the value of it.
KH: And what is the indication from the council are there any preliminary indications that they would be supporting this?
SWS: Yes, the initial response is so far been very, very positive and so tomorrow in Auckland we will be launching that strategy and presenting it to Auckland council who will then be charged with the task of taking it back to the full council. And I am hopeful that the full council will adopt a strong policy and lead the way for the rest of New Zealand to follow.
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