Parents key to language survival

Monday June 09, 2014 Written by Published in Culture
Events like the Composers Competition help, but Sonny Williams says the Cook Islands culture and language must also be promoted in the home. 14060546 Events like the Composers Competition help, but Sonny Williams says the Cook Islands culture and language must also be promoted in the home. 14060546

Keeping the Cook Islands Maori language alive and thriving is a responsibility that ultimately lies with parents in their homes, says the Secretary for Culture. 

Sonny Williams responded to comments made last week by Pastor Ngarima George, who said the Ministries of Culture and Education must to do more to ensure the language is spoken by future generations.

Both ministries are doing as much as they can, Williams said. 

“We do run events and activities with a strong Maori content.”

Some examples of the Culture Ministry’s work include Te Mire Atu (Composers Competition), Mire Ura (Dancer of the Year), Te Maeva Nui (Cultural Festival), and sponsoring Maori speaking competitions in schools.

“At the end of the day, it really comes down to whether parents speak Maori to the children or not,” Williams said.  

Asked whether he thinks many parents speak Maori to their children, he said: “Not many and decreasing”.

Williams said the Ministry of Culture battles every year to get Budget funding for all its activities.

Pastor George does not sit in on Budget bidding meetings witnessing the fight for funds to maintain cultural, arts and heritages programmes, he said.

“If he did, he wouldn’t be so quick to point fingers.”

The reduction in funding over the years has resulted in some activities being dropped, or taken up by the private, community and non-Government sectors.

“We don’t do and can’t do everything in the cultural and heritage sector. Some of these are carried out by others including, Voyaging Society for Ocean Voyaging, Vaka Eiva, Koutu Nui, Are Korero, Kau Taunga, Vairakau Maori, etc,” Williams said.

“We’ve been encouraging people like Ngarima to run Reo Maori Learning Classes.”

He also said the Ministry of Education is doing more now in teaching Maori than it has ever done before.

George would know this if he went and spoke to the Ministry, Williams said.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Nio Mareiti Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:44 posted by Nio Mareiti

    Taku ivi maori: Aue te akaroa. Kua kopae ia. Kua manakokore ia, mei te taravaka ua ra, kua akavaavaa ia. Penei kare paa oki ona e mana. Penei kare paa oki ona e papa.Penei kare paa oki ona e ririnui.
    Kare ona e urunga i roto i tona uaorai ngutuare. E rere vai ua aia, ki te au peka vai. Kua parai ua ki roto i te one pueu. Kua manako kore ia e te au pa matua. Kua varenga i te karokaro ua i te au marama ou, e te tatari i te au ata o te po.
    E ara e te au tiaki o te au patu. Auraka e karokaro ua i te au etu i te po.Ka ao te po kare e kitea tetai ravenga naau. Kua riro mei te taemoemo oroenua ua i teia tuatau. Ka riro iaai,te korona o te maeva nui. Kua ngere i te pia maata ki roto i te kura ki tona uaorai matakeinanga. Kua ngere katoa i te ngai meitaki ki roto i te ata o te po. Te peea ra te reo o te mareva?
    Te tangitangi ua nei te au pui a te au manu tuketuke, na runga i toou au purumu i te po e te ao. Aea ra koe e ara mai ei i tenana moemoea? Aea ra toou taringa e rongo ei? Aea ra toou mata e kite ei? E ara e te au kautaunga, e ara, e ara. Ka rokona mai koe e te vai maata. Ka opea koe na te moana.

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