Niue Language Week – Vagahau Niue Week

Niue Language Week – Vagahau Niue Week celebrates the culture and language of Niue. According to Statistics New Zealand data, there are approximately  23,883 people of Niuean heritage living in New Zealand. About 495 people of Niuean heritage live in Christchurch.

By 2014, the island country of Niue had a population of only 1,190.  To prevent Vagahau Niue (Niue language) becoming extinct The Vagahau Niue Trust was established. One of its roles is to celebrate Vagahau Niue Week. This will be held from 16 October to 22 October 2016.

The goal of the week is, “Ponataki, Tukutaula ke Mauokafua e Vagahau Niue –
Bind, Anchor to Firmly Uphold the Vagahau Niue”.

It serves as a national platform for raising awareness of Vagahau Niue. It aims to ensure Vagahau Niue speakers use, maintain, retain and develop Vagahau Niue within families, communities and households.

Niuean greetings

Malotele Stevens-Polata who works at Aranui Library has some suggestions of a few Niuean greetings to try:

Hello (Informal) – Fakaalofa atu!

Hello (Formal welcome to a group) – Fakaalofa lahi atu kia mutolu oti

Goodbye (Formal) – Kia monuina

Goodbye (Informal) – Koe kia

Thank you, everyone – Fakaaue lahi kia mutolu oti

Library resources

We have a selection of books for adults and children. We also have books about Niue.

We have eResources that you will find useful:

The Human Rights Commission has created a page for Niuean Language Week and has links to resources such as a poster of Niuean words and phrases.

Do you know anyone from Niue? Have you greeted them with “Fakaalofa atu“? You did? Thank you, you have helped save the language.

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