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Samoan Language Week

It’s a time to celebrate the rich texture of the Samoan language, Gagana Samoa, and culture through events and celebrations happening throughout the country. This year Samoan Language Week runs from the Sunday 28 May – Saturday 3 June.

Download the 2016 Samoan Language Week Poster

Samoan Language Week Theme

The theme for 2017 will be updated as it is set.

The theme for 2016 was “E felelei manu ae ma’au i o latou ofaga - Birds migrate to environments where they survive and thrive”.

The theme for 2015 was: “Tautua nei mo sou manuia a taeao – Serve now for a better future”

Samoan Language Week History

The Samoan language is one of the most commonly spoken languages in New Zealand and Samoan Language Week is the longest running Pacific Language Week and led a line-up of seven Pacific language events in 2016.

Samoan Language Week was first celebrated in 2007, and was first promoted by Radio Niu FM as part of a series of Pacific language weeks leading up to Māori Language Week. Since 2007 it has been promoted in schools, by the Association for the Teaching of Samoa in Aotearoa, FAGASA Inc. , Fa’alapotopotoga mo le A’oa’oina o le Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa (FAGASA). From 2009 FAGASA and the Human Rights Commission have partnered with other organisations to extend the week to the wider New Zealand community.

Samoan Language Week Aims

The aims of Samoa Language Week 2016 ‘Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa’ were to:

  • Speak your language:use the language, at home, at work, everywhere 
  • Celebrate the Samoan language and culture in New Zealand and globally 
  • Promote the teaching and learning of the Samoan language 
  • Raise awareness of the Samoan language as one of the most widely spoken languages in New Zealand 
  • Promote the use of the Samoan language in every environment respecting each other’s situation
  • Promote initiatives to maintain and grow the recognition, learning and use of the Samoan language in the home, in education, at work, in government, in the media, in sport, in the arts, in the church and in the community.

The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs works closely with the Human Rights Commission and FAGASA to promote Samoan Language Week activities.

Samoan Language Week Resources

A new Samoan Language week resource co-created by Te Papa and the Ministry for Pacific People for Samoan Language week 2016.

This resource has been designed to support the 2016 Samoan Language Week theme: “E felelei manu, ae ma’au i o latou ofaga: Birds migrate to environments where they survive and thrive."

It's suitable for Samoan and non Samoan speakers across early childhood education, schools, community groups and workplaces.

Inside you'll find:

  • An explanation of the theme, which relates to identity, environments, diversity, and sustainability
  • Gagana Sāmoa pronunciation support + access to helpful words and phrases
  • Plenty of activity ideas, and examples of tala (story) and pese (song) resources
  • Please use this resource to help take part in Samoan Language Week.

Online Resources:

Posters for Samoa Language week are now available from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

If you would like to be sent a poster please contact:

Samoan Language Week Events

Families, early childhood centres, schools and tertiary education institutions, government departments, city councils, libraries, employers and unions, media, churches and community groups are all encouraged to undertake activities in support of Samoan Language Week.

You are invited to register your activity by emailing [email protected] so that it can be published on the website and promoted as part of the week’s activities.

Events Calendar 

You can download the full Events Calendar here