Cook Islands Language Week is a time to celebrate and reflect on the rich and vibrant culture of the Cook Islands here in New Zealand.
The week is a chance for all Kiwis to celebrate the rich language and culture of the Cook Islands. In New Zealand, just over 20% of our Pacific population are Cook Islanders (61,839 people), our second largest Pacific ethnic group. As a realm territory, the Cook Islands hold a special relationship with New Zealand, with Cook Islanders free to live and work in NZ.
The theme for 2017 is “Ei rāvenga nāku i te tuatua i tōku reo Māori Kūki 'Āirani ka anoano au i te turuturu ā tōku ngutu`are tangata `ē te matakeinanga”. In English, “An encouraging home and community environment is what I need to build my love and my confidence to speak my reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani”.
This year at AUT, we have shaped our conversation around Cook Islands language week by the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
After the first Ocean Conference in New York earlier this year, we are posing the question to all of us: What can we do today to conserve and sustain our oceans?