National | Language

NZ celebrates Tokelau Language Week

"Totō hau tōkiga nei, aua na tupulaga e fāi mai, Plant a seed today, for the future generation," is this year's theme for Tokelau Language Week.

Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says the theme encourages Pacific communities in New Zealand to lay a strong cultural path for their children to follow.

Seven Pacific languages in total have been celebrated this year, with Tokelau being the final language week.

Lotu-Iiga says, “The themes of our Pacific language weeks have focused on enriching New Zealand with Pacific cultures, and treasuring and using our languages at home and in the community,”

“The future of Pacific languages and cultures lies with our younger generations. It is important they keep their ties to their heritage.”

Around 7176 people across the country identify as being Tokelauan, however, only percent of them can speak their language.

A variety of events will take place to mark this week's celebrations. You can find those events here.

Samoan Language Week will be the first Pacific language to be celebrated next year in May.