Support Cook Island language week by saying ‘Kia Orana’

posted: 2:33 pm - 16th July 2017
CILW Poster 10 Jul 2017 UPDATED

Cook Islands Language Week will be celebrated at the end of the month and cultural activities are planned across New Zealand, with a special celebration hosted by the Cook Islands Development Agency NZ in South Auckland.

CIDANZ Chief Executive, Ms Rouruina Emile-Brown says CIDANZ is pleased to partner with the Ministry to host a special celebration to honour the Cook Islands culture, language and traditions and encourages the Cook Islands community in New Zealand to participate.

“We want to showcase our culture and most importantly to speak our Cook Islands language to show that we care and value our native language.  Without language, we will lose our culture.”

“We are planning a range of activities over the week to show how the spirit of our people has contributed to New Zealand.”

Ministry for Pacific Peoples Central Regional Manager Maureen Tukaroa-Betham says its more than just a celebration.

“It is important to listen, learn, put into practice and understand the meaning of each reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani word and phrase.”

“Te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani is a rich language. Although it’s only a weeklong event, we encourage anyone willing to brush up on their reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani to have a go.”

“The Ministry pushes strongly, to promote heritage languages and the importance of keeping them alive.”

“We encourage as many families, workplaces and communities as we can to support and inspire people to learn as much they can and have a go at speaking te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani and make the most of the resources the Ministry have put together on our website,” says Maureen.

As part of the promotion, various activities are being celebrated around the country to launch the Cook Islands Language Week.

Ms Emile-Brown says this year CIDANZ is encouraging parents and families to get involved.

“Staging this event is a great way to interact with families, elaborate on our role and assist parents and children in learning and strengthening their identities as Cook Islanders.”

“It warms your heart when you see so many Cook Islanders wearing their ‘ei (floral head band) during the week’s celebration and hearing them speak, and showcase their Cook Islands identity.”

This year's language week theme is ‘Ei rāvenga nāku i te tuatua i tōku reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani ka anoano au i te turuturu ā tōku ngutu`are tangata `ē te matakeinanga’ which translates to ‘an encouraging home and community environment is what I need to build my love and my confidence to speak my reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani”.

Te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani week’s celebration is from Sunday 30 July to Saturday 5 August.