Pacific radio news

Cook Island PM endorses push to save language

By Ruci Farrell -

Cook Island community leaders in Auckland are determined to set up a Cook Islands Māori Language Commission in a bid to save their language from extinction.

Prime Minister Henry Puna gave community leaders the go-ahead with plans to affiliate to the Languages Commission in Rarotonga.

Prime Minister Henry Puna. Photo/ Enjoy Cook Islands.

Dr. Josephine Herman says it's important to capture the essence of the language and wisdom of knowledge holders in New Zealand and Australia before they pass on.

"We know the Cook Islands Māori language is an endangered language so having the commission, the support of the Cook Islands government, is important for us to collect our ideas here in New Zealand, organise ourselves to promote and support that agenda for revitalising our language."

Cook Islands Māori is considered an endangered language by the United Nations.

Tags: Cook Islands,