Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Languages Funding in 2021 will make sure there is a future for Pacific languages.
“Language is the key to the wellbeing for Pacific people. It affirms our identity as Pasifika and strengthens our communities.”
The Wellbeing Budget 2019 delivered a $20 million package to MPP over four years to support the revitalisation of Pacific languages. The Languages Funding will lay the foundations for making sure Pacific languages flourish in Aotearoa.
“There will be three types of Funding offered this year: The Community Languages Fund, the Provider Languages Fund, and the new Pacific Youth Language Fund.
“The Community fund will support community groups, families and churches to innovate and develop their own ways to revitalise Pacific languages close to home, while the Provider fund will be aimed at established language learning providers with over five years’ experience. Meanwhile the Pacific youth fund , a new addition in 2021, will target Pacific youth,” says Aupito William Sio.
Crucial to the success of the Languages Funding is the addition of new funding workshops to be held throughout the year. These workshops will coach our community through the funding process and give them the skills to deliver successful applications.
“The Languages Funding has been hugely successful in raising awareness and increasing the use of Pacific languages. In 2020, the CLF support 344 community groups with over $850,000.
“This funding means groups like Pukepuke ‘O Tonga in Auckland were able to fund a safe space to learn the Tongan language through song and dance. Pukepuke ‘O Tonga says that their students grew in confidence and they felt a sense of purpose and pride in their identity,” says the Minister.
“Language is one of the pillars of our identity. The Government believes Pacific languages deserve to thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand.We are already doing critical work as the guardians of their precious languages. This funding is about offering them the financial means to increase their work,” says Aupito William Sio.
Editor’s Note : In response to overwhelming feedback from the Pacific community, the CLF will be open for the whole year. In addition, the PLF will have 3 rounds in 2021. This will enable our communities to plan better.