Photo/Centre for Pacific Languages
The recently appointed Fesaitu Solomone, who helped found PMN Rotuma and ran for the Tāmaki electorate will push further to support Pacific languages.
The new head of the Centre for Pacific Languages (CPL) aims to elevate Pacific languages.
Multimedia specialist and Rotuman language tutor Fesaitu Solomone says her goal aligns with why she accepted her current position.
"Back in 2006 when I first came, I recognised the [Rotuman] language needed a lot of support here in Aotearoa," Solomone says.
She says growing up in the Rotuman culture and speaking the language drives her, especially knowing what would be lost if Pacific languages declined into extinction.
"Hence my passion and what I believe is needed to support the work of taking our Pasifika languages to the next level," she says.
Fesaitu was also vital in establishing PMN Rotuma and recently ran for Labour in the Tāmaki electorate securing up to 9,000 votes.
Solomone campaigning for the Tāmaki electorate. Photo/Facebook: Fesaitu Solomone
Solomone says they will continue to beef up the Pacific language courses to support the Pacific diaspora in Aotearoa.
"We've got the PNG and Solomon language added for next year so it's something to look at," Solomone says.
"We have another two languages added in the language week line-up under the Ministry."
Solomone acknowledged the many pioneers who put in the work for over forty years since CPL was founded in 1978, formerly known as the Pacific Island Education Resource Centre (PIERC Education).
"It started in the city in Herne Bay," she says.
"We have to pay tribute to a lot of those giants in our community who set up and had a vision to carry our Pasifika languages."
With a shift in government coming soon, Solomone says their strategy is to build relations and continue to advocate for Pacific languages.
She acknowledged the Ministry for Pacific People's work in laying down the foundation so far.
"The former minister, honourable Aupito William Sio has done great work in setting that platform for our Pasifika people. Then handed it off to the honourable Barbara Edmonds."
"There's more work to be done. That's why what I'm coming in to do is the next phase for CPL is a real whole outlook.
"It's a different pathway we're going to take."
Watch the full interview below: