Vital that Government takes languages seriously

A multilingual Auckland won’t be achieved unless strong policy is in place with a deliberate and determined strategy to make it happen,says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. 

“Being able to communicate in more than one language can generate social, cultural and economic benefits for New Zealand.

“That in turn leads to  a thriving community and a strong sense of belonging and commitment to our city and country. 

“However without specific policies several Pasifika languages could be at risk of extinction, while we are also likely to see a fall in the number of Te Reo Maori speakers.

 “With the Government washing its hands of a national language policy and cutting resources to Pasifika language teachers, it’s up to Auckland Council to do its bit and recognize the value of languages to the city. 

“Unless that happens our communities will continue to struggle to sustain opportunities to teach the next generation their heritage languages,” Su’a William Sio says.