Mālō e lelei. Let’s all stand together as we celebrate @nztongalanguageweek Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga online this week. That was the message from the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito Sio who, while launching the week, emphasised the need for unity in times of crisis such as Covid-19.
“We need everyone to stand together, so that we’re not only protecting our families but making sure we’re playing our part to protect the rest of Aotearoa …”
Mr Sio said the theme “Fakakoloa ‘o Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e Ako Lelei”, which means “Enriching Aotearoa with holistic education” was important in times of crisis like this.
Education was not just about learning in our educational institutions, but equally important at this time, was learning how to keep our families and communities safe, he said.
“I also want to say its important for our young people to learn and be comfortable about learning culture and our language, our customs and traditions, and more importantly genealogy, and the experiences of the past. Often about learning about our own history, we’re able to make sure we can learn about the mistakes of the past and make sure that’s not repeated ever again.”
Mr Sio took the opportunity to acknowledge the Tongan leadership and the amazing work they have being doing to keep the community safe through the current outbreak.