Tonga’s language and culture celebrated all year in NZ

posted: 12:00 pm - 12th April 2018
Minister of Pacific Peoples launching Tongan Language Year 3 March 2018

(Picture caption: The launch of Tongan Language Year 2018 was marked at an event attended by Minister for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Hon Aupito William Sio, Member of Parliament 'Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki and representatives of various educational and community groups.)

In 2018, the Tongan language and culture will be celebrated in New Zealand all year.  

Chair of the Tongan Language Year 2018 and of Tongan Language Week since 2012, Dr Linita Manu'atu says while the Tongan Language Week will still be staged in September, there will be a large emphasis on language and culture throughout the duration of 2018.

In 2016, the Tongan Language Year Working Committee advised the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, who supports the annual Pacific Language Weeks in NZ, of the change, Linita says.  

“The change from the week to the year allows Tongan people to rethink about our koloa of Tongan language and cultural practices, values and beliefs, in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Linita adds.

“In the year, Tongan people can engage in good planning and commitment to develop new experiences of learning, studying and producing knowledge to enrich Tongan ways of being and doing in health, educational, social, economic and intercultural contexts by Tongan youth and generations to come.”

The theme for Tongan Language Year 2018 is :  Ko e Ta'u 'o e Fakakoloa 'o Aotearoa 'aki 'a e 'Ofa Fonua. 

The theme is translated as 'Ofa Fonua: a Tongan perspective of enriching Aotearoa New Zealand and it is an extension of last year’s theme - Ko e Ta'u 'o e Fakakoloa 'o Aotearoa 'aki e Nofo'a-Kaainga - Nofo-'a-Kaainga: a Tongan perspective of enriching Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tongan Language Year was launched last month, at an event attended by Minister for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Hon Aupito William Sio, Member of Parliament 'Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, along with representatives of various educational and community groups.

The Pacific language weeks offer all New Zealanders a chance to celebrate and experience the value of Pacific languages, culture and identity. 
Starting with Samoa Language Week in May, the 2018 Pacific language weeks’ line-up ends with Tokelau Language Week in October.

Samoa Language Week: May 27 – June 2
Cook Islands Language Week: July 29 – August 4
Tonga Language Week: September 2 – September 8
Tuvalu Language Week: September 30 – October 6
Fiji Language Week: October 7 –October 13
Niue Language Week: October 14 – October 20
Tokelau Language Week: October 21 – October 27.

 Visit MPP for more information on Pacific Language Weeks.