Wednesday, March 16, 2011

[pima.nius] PR Labour: Sio: Government continues to turn its back on Pacific priorities

12:51 PM |


Su'a William


Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson

Description: Description: Description: Labour Logo - red                      


Thursday, 17 March 2011                                            MEDIA STATEMENT

Government continues to turn its back on Pacific priorities



During the opening of the iconic ASB Polyfest, Professor Sitaleki Finau joined Labour's Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson, Su'a William Sio in his call for the National Government to support the learning and promotion of Pacific languages and culture in Aotearoa.


"Our communities are always disappointed to hear  Government Ministers expressing their support for Pacific cultural events such as the Pasefika Festival, the Polyfest, and the Pacific Music Awards- yet when it comes to supporting the learning of the languages and culture they see on stage, they refuse to speak up against the Minister of Education who is cutting the funding of Pacific bilingual language resources.


"To make matters worse, it seems as if Polyfest may be at risk of losing future government funding as well, which has placed an additional financial burden on the students participating this year and their families.


"This Government is limiting opportunities for people to not only learn Pacific languages – but to also celebrate Pacific language and culture by performing on stage.


"We cannot afford to rest on our laurels and that's why meetings have been held in Auckland to promote submissions by researchers calling on government to support Pacific languages 


"More meetings will be held in Wellington, Waikato region and Dunedin.


"Pacific people know that without language, culture is lost. Without culture, people are lost. That is why it is important that this government invest in the future of Pacific people in Aotearoa. Bilingualism is a strength that should be embraced and not discarded," Su'a William Sio said today



Contact: Su'a William Sio  021 243 0464




Deborah Mahuta-Coyle

Press Secretary

Office of the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Phil Goff

+64 21 226 9872

+64 4817 9685



pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand
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