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Vagahau Niue

Niue Language Week

Fakaalofa lahi atu!

Niue (Vagahau Niue) Language Week takes place from Sunday 16 October to Saturday 22 October. The overarching theme for the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks is sustainability.

Raise the mana of speakers of Vagahau Niue. Find and acknowledge the experts in your school and community who can help your school celebrate Vagahau Niue Language Week. 

Niue language

Vagahau Niue consists of two main dialects:

  • the Motu dialect from the north of the island
  • the Tafiti dialect of the south. 

Of all the Pacific languages, Niuean is most closely-related to Tongan.

More Niuean speakers live outside of Niue than in Niue, and like many of the Pacific languages, Niuean is an endangered language.

Reviving Nieuan

New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio

Takalo project
A new takalo or traditional Niue war dance was composed by Lavea Puheke a young composer in Niue and was filmed at the historical Maori land site Ihumatao in Auckland. 

Niue men lay challenge to elevate language (2020)
This article from Tagata Pasifika contains photos and information about the Takalo project as a group of 40 Niue men danced with the challenge to keep their language alive.

Hope for the Niuean language in Aotearoa 
Rosa Kalauni shares her experience as a Niuean educator in Auckland.

Case study

Case study: Vagahau Niue Language Week 21 July 2021

The New Zealand Niue community has taken swift and strong action in response to concerns about the declining speakers of Vagahau Niue (Niuean language). The Vagahau Niue Trust has been heavily involved in preserving the Niue language and culture.

This case study explores how to mobilise young people and create effective partnerships.

Language resources

Pasifika Education Community

Use the language resources on the tabs.

Vagahau Niue contains:

  • Tau Hatakiaga ma e Vagahau Niue: The Niue language guidelines
  • Haia! An Introduction to Vagahau Niue
  • Niue storybooks

Niue Language Week
NZC Online provides curriculum connections and ideas about how your class and your school can participate in this language week.

Resources for Pacific Language Weeks 2022 – downloadable resources from the Ministry of for Pacific Peoples

Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Ponataki – Niue Language Educational Resource 2016

Members of the Niue community in New Zealand brought together ideas and developed this resource. Downloadable as a PDF.

Vagahau Niue resource pack
Future Learning Solutions – Centre for Languages provides a free download. 

Future Learning Solutions He Puāwaitanga Anamata Centre for Languages

The resource pack includes:

  • printable A4 posters
  • printable A4 flashcards
  • printable mini flashcards
  • printable A4 page of the 15 expressions
  • MP4 digital slides of the flashcards, “Why use formulaic expressions”.

Tohi Vagahau Niue | Niue language dictionary
Auckland University of Technology provides access to this online resource where you can search for words in both English and Vagahau Niue.

Useful phrases in Niuean
A collection of useful phrases in Vagahau Niuē | Niuean language. The site also provides information about Niuean and numbers in Niuean.

Resources from the museum and library

Story: Nieuans
Learn about Nieuan migration, community and culture, and facts and figures. The site also lists external links and resources.

Niue Language Week
Auckland War Museum shares Niue materials in the form of writing, photographs, handicrafts, and collection objects from the Museum.

Christchurch City Libraries
Resources about Niue and the Niuean language.

All about the Rock: Niuean language week
from Te Papa's blog – 10 things you should know about Niue.


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