Vagahau Niue Language Week officially open

posted: 6:30 pm - 14th October 2017
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Fakaalofa lahi atu! This week we celebrate Niue Language Week (15-21 October).

The Niue community gathered at the Auckland War Memorial Museum this evening, 14 October to officially open celebrations for Niuean Language Week.

The theme, ‘Ko e Vagahau Niue ko e Atefua he Tagata Niue’ - The Niue Language is the Heart of Niue People. It is a message to all Niueans, to speak and retain their language or it will eventually be lost.

Ministry for Pacific Peoples Chief Executive Laulu Mac Leauanae says celebrating Niuean Language Week is an opportunity for everyone to make an effort to embrace the Niuean language.

“Let’s have a go this week by learning some Niuean phrases like Fakaalofa atu [Hello], Malolo nakai a koe? [How are you?], Koe kia [Good-bye] and share the Niuean language with friends and work colleagues.”

Niue High Commissioner to New Zealand, His Excellency Hon. Fisa Pihigia says this special week gives speakers of Vagahau Niue the chance to encourage the wider Niue community and the New Zealand public to have a go at Niuean language.

“Speaking Vagahau Niue help our people to stay connected with our cultural heritage, which is part of who we are. It's important to embrace our language and our Niue culture. This week is special to all Niueans living in New Zealand.”

According to the Census 2013, approximately 23,833 people, or 8.1 percent, of New Zealand’s Pacific population identified as Niuean.

The Niuean Language Week events calendar and educational resource are available here

Vagahau Niuean Language Week is an annual celebration for the Niuean communities in New Zealand. It will be followed by Tokelauan Language Week (23-29 October), the finale of a series of Pacific Language Weeks held throughout 2017.

The language week is championed by Vagahau Niue Trust, supported by the Ministry.