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Third most widely spoken language celebrated

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 26, 2009) – The Minister for Pacific Island Affairs says Samoa Language week gives New Zealand the opportunity to recognise the language and culture of the country’s fourth largest ethnic community.

The Association for the Teaching of Samoa in Aotearoa first established Samoan Language Week three years ago and this year it’s supported by the Human Rights Commission.

Georgina Te Heu Heu says that Samoa is the third most spoken language after English and Maori, "A language week is in turn a recognition of the fact that Samoans are a growing part of our demographic and clearly like most other ethnic groupings language and culture are very important to them."

Georgina Te Heu Heu says language weeks for other Pacific languages spoken in New Zealand could also be developed in future.

Samoa Language week ends on Sunday.

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