Protecting language and culture is what one new book hopes to achieve when its pages are turned.
Tongan Nursery Rhymes and Poems has been launched at AUT South Campus. .
The project has been led by AUT senior education lecturer Dr Linita Manu’atu
She says the book is a culmination of work by more than 40 authors from Critiquing Pasifika Education at the University Co-ordinating Committee and the Tongan Early Childhood Education Teachers Association.
She’s hoping it will improve teaching resources for Tongan language and culture.
“Good teaching resources are central to understanding and protecting the cultural meanings of our language.
“We believe that raising our children in New Zealand and what it means to be a good citizen of this society ought to be informed by the spirit, the essence of our Tongan, Samoan, Cook Islands, Niue and Maori languages and cultures.
“Reading to our children, nursery rhymes and poems that are written from the spirit is our way of teaching our knowledge of spiritual values and beliefs.”
Special guests at the book launch included Manurewa MP Louisa Wall and Reverend Lopini Filise, superintendent of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in New Zealand.