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 24th May – 30th May.

Download the 2015 Samoan Language Week Poster

Samoan Language Week Theme

The theme for 2015 is: “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 leads a line-up of seven Pacific language events in 2015.

Samoan Language Week was first celebrated in 2007. Samoan Language Week 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 , Faalapotopotonga mo le Aoaoina 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 2014 ‘Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa’ are 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

Tips for Teachers to celebrate Samoan Language Week 2015:

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 nzdiversity@hrc.co.nz 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

Various times

  • 25-30 May: Auckland Libraries: will be hosting various events across Auckland. More info here
  • 25-29 May: Pasifika Education Centre: Are offering 20% off all Selected Samoan Book titles. 17 Lambie Drive, Building 7, Manukau City. They are also providing us with the 'Daily Word for the day in Samoa'. More info here
  • 26-31 May: Measina Festival 2015: Jandals Inc. & Le Moana present the Measina Festival in Celebration of Samoan Language Week. Whitireia Performance Centre, 25 – 27 Vivian Street, Wellington. More info here

Aso Sa / Sunday 24 May

  • Ecumenical Church Service: Will feature a community blessing and official launch of Samoan Language Week. 5pm, Malaeola Hall, 16 Waokauri Place, Mangere.

Aso Gafua / Monday 25 May

  • Victoria University Launch: His Excellency Tommy Scanlan, Samoa High Commissioner providing opening address while Samoan Students will be performing the Ava Ceremony. 10-12pm, Victoria University Kelburn Campus, Wan Solwara Library Space, Wellington. 

Aso Lua / Tuesday 26 May

  • Victoria University/Victoria University Samoan Students Association: Students will be performing oral presentations on the SLW theme and general topics associated with Samoan culture and society. 12-1.30pm, Victoria University Kelburn Campus, Wan Solwara Library Space, Wellington.
  • Pasifika Education Centre Samoan Workshops: will be running workshops on the theme of 'Tautua Fa’amaoni'. Glen Eden PIC Tupulaga Youth holding Debates and workshops on Samoa cultural knowledge on the theme in church contexts. Also looking at Roles/responsibilities in service, values, and principles of good leadership. 6-8pm, Glen Eden PIC Church, 19 West Coast Road, Kelston, West Auckland.
  • AUT University: will be hosting the official Samoan Language Week Debates for 2015. 6-8pm, AUT University South Campus, Great South Road, Manukau City.
  • Measina Festival: Le Moana Productions present “1918”. Inspired by the memories of her beloved Grandmother, Avea'i Fui, and the research of Dr. John McLane, Tupe Lualua's latest development piece is a response to the devastating Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918. 8pm, Whitireia Performance Centre, 25 – 27 Vivian Street, Wellington.

Aso Lulu / Wednesday 27 May

  • Le Moana & Whitireia Performing Arts: will be running Siva Samoa Workshops to celebrate Samoa Language Week. 50 minute run workshops delivered by Tupe Lualua and students of Whitireia Performing Arts for different Age groups. Please register to confirm participation. 9.30am-3.40pm, Pataka ART + Museum, Norrie Street, Porirua. Registration & contact: Tupe LualuaMore info here.  
  • Victoria University: Samoan Studies Programme Students will be involved in a Samoan language debate on the Samoa Language Week theme with Samoan Language Class representatives from a Wellington High School. 12-1.30pm, Victoria University Kelburn Campus, Wan Solwara Library Space. 
  • Pasifika Education Centre Samoan Workshops: will be running workshops on the theme of 'Tautua Fa’amaoni'. Glen Eden PIC Tupulaga Youth holding Debates and workshops on Samoa cultural knowledge on the theme in church contexts. Also looking at Roles/responsibilities in service, values, and principles of good leadership. 6-8pm, Glen Eden PIC Church, 19 West Coast Road, Kelston, West Auckland.
  • Measina Festival: Le Moana Productions present “1918”. 8pm, Whitireia Performance Centre, 25 – 27 Vivian Street, Wellington.

Aso Tofi / Thursday 28 May

  • Victoria University/Victoria University Samoan Students Association: Students will be performing oral presentations on the SLW theme and general topics associated with Samoan culture and society. 12-1.30pm, Victoria University Kelburn Campus, Wan Solwara Library Space, Wellington.
  • Measina Festival: Le Moana Productions present “1918”. 8pm, Whitireia Performance Centre, 25 – 27 Vivian Street, Wellington.

Aso Faraile/ Friday 29 May

  • Victoria University/Victoria University Samoan Students Association: Students will be performing oral presentations on the SLW theme and general topics associated with Samoan culture and society. 12-1.30pm, Victoria University Kelburn Campus, Wan Solwara Library Space, Wellington.
  • Measina Festival: present Measina Youth Night – “A night of locally sourced talent”. Enjoy a night of locally sourced talent! A showcase of reggae, hip-hop, soul, Polynesian dance and much, much more! The Measina Youth Night will have you off your seats, down the isles and onto the stage! Featuring well-known artists Mo Ete, 5th Melody, Moana Leota, the Miti Family and L.E.A.R.T! 7pm, Whitireia Performance Centre, 25 – 27 Vivian Street, Wellington.

Aso To'ona'i / Saturday 30 May

  • Measina Festival: Soia Source Company presents “The Eel and Sina”: Based on the popular Polynesian Myth Sina and The Eel, this piece gives tells the untold side of the story; Jono Soo-Choon and the ensemble present 'THE EEL AND SINA'. The Eel and Sina is an extension of a solo piece written and devised by Jono Soo-Choon. Featuring a cast of 5 emerging Pacific actors, the Eel and Sina will have you laughing down the aisles. 1pm, Whitireia Performance Centre, 25 – 27 Vivian Street, Wellington.
  • Measina Festival: Le Moana Productions present “1918”. 3.30pm, Whitireia Performance Centre, 25 – 27 Vivian Street, Wellington.
  • Measina Festival: present Measina Youth Night – “A night of locally sourced talent”. A showcase of reggae, hip-hop, soul, Polynesian dance and much, much more! 7pm, Whitireia Performance Centre, 25 – 27 Vivian Street, Wellington.