Pasifika – Term 4

Ensuring Pacific Success in the Hawkes Bay

The Pacific (and the wider) community in the Hawkes Bay were treated to three days of Pacific-specific events aimed to provide inspiration and practical ideas for teachers of Pacific learners under two themes -  Pathways and Wellbeing and Pasifika Education at Hastings Girls' High School. 

Starting with the Pasifika Careers Expo on Thursday 26 September 4:30pm – 6:30pm, students from local schools came to Hastings Girls High School for guidance around future learning pathways. An array of vocational groups and tertiary providers from Universities and Polytechnics such as Teach First, the Magpies, Peleti Oli, Police, Forces and Community health as well as young graduates were there to meet with students and community. 

The programme for Friday (September 27) included inspiring keynotes from Dr Michelle Johansson, (Programme Director, for Teach First NZ) and Associate Professor Damien Salesa, Pro Vice-Chancellor Pacific, from Auckland University. Between the keynotes, a range of workshops was provided to showcase exciting projects and work to support the success of Pacific peoples in the area as well as a student forum discussing critical issues for Pacific learners. 

The programme culminated in a showcase of the diverse colours, music and cultural performances from the local secondary school groups on Saturday, September 28. The performances support and maintain the focus on the importance of language and culture to the success of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

The success of the event was due largely to the commitment and perseverance of school leaders, teachers and leaders in the Pacific community. 

   Pacifika Term 4 - Photo 1.jpg   Pacifika - Term 4 - Photo 2.jpg



2019 Honorary Queen’s Service Medal for service to languages, education and the Samoan community

Mr Tauanu’u Perenise Tapu has been involved in researching, developing, and teaching Samoan language for 30 years. He was HOD for Samoan language at Penrose High School from 1998 to 2002 and presently at McAuley High School since 2003.

He has been a tutor for advanced Samoan language and culture at the Pacific Education Centre since 2014 and father figure for Fotu o Malama (Association for teachers of Samoan language at secondary and tertiary). He was also involved in the development of the 'Taiala o le Gagana Samoa' (Samoan Language Framework in New Zealand). Malo le tautua matavela.

For more information, please see -…

Tokelau Language Week and Pacific language resources by Don Long from Lift Education E Tū

Tokelau Language Week this year (27 October to 2 November) saw the latest in an extraordinary publishing effort by the New Zealand Ministry of Education.

Providing resources for the teaching of five Pacific languages to students in Years 7-10, the Ministry now provides – for each language – guidelines for teaching and learning the language, a multimedia teaching and learning resource kit, and six storybooks with teacher support material. In addition, the Ministry has published a song and music resource covering five Pacific languages and cultures.

These resources are:    

Te Kaveinga o te Reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani: The Cook Islands Māori Language Guidelines
I-E-Ko-Ko! An Introduction to Cook Islands Māori
Six storybooks with teacher support material

Ta'iala mo le Gagana Sāmoa: The Gagana Sāmoa Guidelines
Mua Ō! An Introduction to Gagana Sāmoa
Six storybooks with teacher support material

Ko e Fakahinohino ki he Lea Faka-Tonga: The Tongan Language Guidelines
Faufaua! An Introduction to Tongan
Six storybooks with teacher support material

Tau Hatakiaga ma e Vagahau Niue: The Niue Language Guidelines
Haia! An Introduction to Vagahau Niue
Six storybooks with teacher support material

Gagana Tokelau: The Tokelau Language Guideline,
Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau
Six storybooks with teacher support material

Songs to Celebrate: Pasifika Languages and Cultures – Songs and Music to Support the Pasifika Learning Languages Series for Years 7-10

The publication of the six storybooks in gagana Tokelau together with their teacher support material. Information about Pacific Learning Languages Series resources is available at and can be ordered by schools from Down the Back of the Chair.

No other Pacific Rim country provides anything like this level of support for the teaching of Pacific languages in the middle years of its school system – and this is true even though there are large Pacific communities in cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver.

The multimedia resource kits include lesson plans, worksheets, CDs, and DVDs. While the characters in the storybooks are the same age as Year 7-10 students, the language in them is pitched to the needs of students learning languages at curriculum levels 1 and 2.

The six storybooks the Ministry publishes this week in gagana Tokelau are all set in Aotearoa New Zealand or Tokelau and are illustrated by the talented New Zealand Tokelau artist Vaitoa Baker. 

Written by Oli Heve, Aloihio Kave Kelemete, Mehepa Atoni Gaualofa, the stories feature situations and topics that will fascinate students in Years 7-10, such as rugby, dance, taking part in an inati in Tokelau, and fishing. 

The storybooks and teacher support material were edited by Hatesa Kirifi, Don Long, and Gail Spence. A former Director of Education in Tokelau, Hatesa also edited the Ministry of Education’s gagana Tokelau / English language dual-language books for students in Years 1-3. Gail was the curriculum facilitator for language and languages when Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau was developed. Don has been editing resources in gagana Tokelau for the Tokelau Department of Education and the New Zealand Ministry of Education since 1989. He is currently part of the Department’s editorial team for its Tautai Ake series. Tufaina Faraimo and Malia Soane wrote the teacher support material.

For this specialist publishing project, the Ministry of Education contracted Lift Education to complete the work of the storybooks and teacher support material. Lift brought together the specialised production team needed to complete such a project.

Not just published for students of Tokelau heritage, as with all the Pacific Learning Languages resources, these new resources invite students of any cultural background to enter into the extraordinarily enriching journey of learning a Pacific language – and where better to start than gagana Tokelau.

Language weeks can create culture of acceptance…

By Education Gazette editors