Cook Islanders around the country are preparing to celebrate their Constitution Day this weekend and also the start of Cook Islands Language Week.
First Church of Otago's minister, Reverend Dr. Tokerau Joseph, says he's thrilled the students he's been teaching Te Reo Kuki Airani to over the past 10 weeks, are graduating this weekend.
He says however, tertiary education cannot sustain the language on its own.
"We can make the language a course at a tertiary level but unless it becomes a living language that is spoken everywhere else, we will always struggle with the language," says Dr Joseph.
This year's theme for Te reo Maori Kuki Airani is: ‘Ei rāvenga nāku i te tuatua i tōku reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani ka anoano au i te turuturu ā tōku ngutu`are tangata `ē te matakeinanga,’ which translates to, ‘An encouraging home and community environment is what I need to build my love and my confidence to speak my reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani'.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro will launch the start of the celebrations tomorrow at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Guests are invited to view rare Cook Island artefacts gifted to the museum over the years.
Te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani week’s celebration is from July 30 to August 5.