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Half of Tongans living in NZ were born and raised there and were not able to learn the Tongan language or culture

(Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 05/09/2016)

Tongan people are the third largest Pacific Group in New Zealand with over 60,000 people identified as Tongans of the Polynesian race.

Half of those people were born and raised in NZ and were not able to learn either their language or culture.

In a program to mark the Tongan Language Week in Auckland yesterday – Pacific People Minister in NZ – Hon. Peseta Sam Lotu-liga says, Tongan Language week is an opportunity to teach young Tongans their language and its rich culture.

He says figures in a survey in 2001 who took up the language study programs showed 23,000 were able to speak Tongan, in 2013 or 12 years later, the figure rose to 32,000 people.

The theme highlighted this year is ‘Enriching Aotearoa with the Tongan Spirit’.

The program will feature, Tongan speech competitions, Tongan dances, poetry among others.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016