Language is key to Pacific wellbeing: Aupito

The first Pacific Language Week in New Zealand this year makes clear that language is the key to the well-being for all Pacific people.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, made the comment while launching the Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta - Rotuman Language Week in Auckland on Sunday.

The islanders are excited to celebrate their language and culture together this year.

Last year's Rotuman language week, New Zealand's third, was forced online because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The theme for is Tutur häk ne måür lelei - the four pillars of life and well-being:

Aupito said language is one of the pillars of any people's identity.

Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, well-being and lifetime success of Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa, he said.

“This Government believes Pacific languages deserve to thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand,” he said.

“This year's Rotuman Language Week theme is Tutur häk ne måur lelei, or, in English, the 'four pillars of life', including health: Fak'ata (spiritual), Fakforo (physical), 'Os A'häe (psychological) and Hạikạinagaga (relationship with people).

“This is a holistic approach to life and language that will inspire our young people.

“Tutur häk ne måur lelei reminds us that Pacific resilience is about more than just physical health - we must also nurture the other aspects that make up our entire beings. It is a call to action to take stock of our overall well-being.

“The Wellbeing Budget 2019 delivered a NZ$20 million (US$14.6m) package to MPP over four years to support the revitalisation of Pacific languages.

“The funding will lay the foundations for making sure Pacific languages flourish in Aotearoa," said Aupito.

Rotuman Language Week will run from Sunday 9 May to Saturday 15 May.

“My hope for Rotuman Language Week is that we accept the invitation to nourish our culture through Rotuma's four pillars of life.

“We will also unite with the Rotuman community as they share with us the beauties of their culture and language,” Aupito said.


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