Minister promotes this year's Cook Island Language Week

By Harata Brown

To support NZ's Cook Island Language Week, the Minister of Island Affairs was in Flaxmere today to promote this year's theme, 'Nurture young minds today, so they can become leaders tomorrow'.

Every opportunity to help ensure the Cook Island language is retained for the younger generations, according to the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, is important.

He says, "We want, not all Cook Islanders to support it, but also all New Zealanders to hear the language being spoken and enjoy the festivities."

Cook Island descendant, based in the Hawke's Bay, Caren Rangi, doesn't believe that the Cook Island's language is dying, but says she is worried about the language being transferred to the youth.

In Glen Innes, Auckland, some Cook Island descendants gathered here to make 'ei' (leis), in the hope to entice other Cook Island's descendants to meet and speak their ancestral language.

Cook Islanders make up one fifth of New Zealand's Pacific population at just over 60,000 people, with 76 percent of the population born in New Zealand.

Click the link for more information on the Cook Island Language Week: