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Pacific languages in New Zealand to get a boost with new innovation fund

PC: @NZParliament

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says the new Languages Innovation Fund is designed to support Pacific grassroots initiatives that will increase awareness, celebrate, grow and inspire the daily use of Pacific languages in Aotearoa.

Launched today at the Lalanga Fou Languages and High Tech Fono, the Languages Innovation Fund will be piloted for 12 months.

“The Ministry’s engagements with communities throughout Aotearoa confirmed the significance of Pacific languages and cultures to an individual’s sense of belonging and identity,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

It was announced in this year’s Wellbeing Budget that the Government would allocate $20 million over the next four years to ensure Aotearoa is home to thriving Pacific languages.

“That’s why the establishment of a dedicated Pacific Language Unit within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples is so important.

“We know that the current state of our Pacific languages is fragile and that Pacific success in innovation is not certain. The task of changing that, is a job for all of us, the story is ours to write and that’s why it’s important with the launch of this Fund, it can encourage Pacific aspirations and support some of the great initiatives that are out there in the community.

The Fund is designed for our grassroots community groups such as youth groups, church groups, family-based groups and NGOs across Aotearoa.

“The Languages Innovation Fund is a great opportunity for individuals and communities to showcase their ideas that will increase the awareness, grow the number of speakers and help ensure that Pacific languages are recognised and valued in Aotearoa.

“I encourage you to find out more by visiting the Ministry’s website for further information,” says Aupito William Sio.

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