Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.
Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to Pacific languages now and into the future. Labour will work alongside Pasifika communities to achieve their aspirations for the next generation of Pasifika people to thrive in New Zealand and to be smart, healthy and bilingual.
“Instead of seeing Pacific languages and cultures as barriers, we should see them as resources, as a gift to the nation and something that enriches all our lives. Unless New Zealand acts quickly and decisively will they cease to be living languages in the coming generations.
“Labour recognises the importance of Pacific people becoming highly skilled and we will fund 1,500 Pasifika Trade trainees over the next four years
“We will bring together Pasifika community groups, the Industry Training Organisations and tertiary providers to encourage young Pasifika people to succeed.
“Labour will investigate, as part of our wider commitment to public broadcasting, the establishment of a Pasifika television channel.
“Labour will also establish a Pacific Futures Forum. This will build a new collective vision for Pacific people in New Zealand.
“We have one of the fastest growing and most youthful populations in New Zealand. These demographics affirm the role that Pacific people will play in New Zealand’s future.
“For New Zealand to do well, Labour believes Pacific People must also do well. The significant role that Pacific people will play in the future social, economic and political fabric of New Zealand cannot be overstated,” says Su’a William Sio.