Minister for Pacific Peoples’ Vaccination Message During Virtual Celebration for Tonga Language Week

Fakakoloa ‘o Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e Ako Lelei- enriching Aotearoa with holistic education, is this year’s theme for Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga – Tonga Language Week.

Tongans make up 1.7 percent of New Zealand’s population. Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says, “education is highly valued in the Kingdom of Tonga and this year’s Tonga Language Week explores the importance of education and how Aotearoa can benefit.”  Tongans have one of the highest rates of PhDs per head of population.

Due to the Alert Level 3 and Level 4 lockdown, the week long celebration was officially launched online via Facebook Live. Rev. Setaita Kinhoi Veikune offered prayers and blessings for the start of the celebration.

Rev. Setaita Kinhoi Veikune offers prayers and blessings to open Tonga Language Week – Facebook

Minister Sio opened the ceremony and used the opportunity to also encourage people to get vaccinated during the lock down regardless of any visa issues.

“There is no need for you to show any ID or show a passport. Everybody is entitled to getting vaccinated irrespective of your visa status. Everything that New Zealanders are entitled to whether it’s testing, getting the vaccine, or getting the support you require as part of our COVID-19 response, everybody is eligible for it.”Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio

Minister Sio opens Tonga Language Week – Facebook

Tonga Language Week runs from September 5 to September 11, 2021.