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Tokelauan Language Week/Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau

This page might include information, links, and events that are specific to 2019. It will be updated as soon as 2020 information becomes available. 

Hibiscus flower.

Malo ni! In 2020, Tokelauan Language Week is being held from Sunday 25 October – Saturday 31 October. Tokelauan Language Week provides the opportunity to introduce your students to the culture and language of Tokelau, helping to keep Gagana Tokelau alive in New Zealand. 

For people from Tokelau living in New Zealand, family, community, and language are the centre of Faka-Tokelau, the Tokelauan way of life.  Over half of the country’s Tokelau community live in the Porirua and Hutt Valley areas of Wellington and there are also Tokelau communities in Auckland, Taupō, and Rotorua.

Why not connect electronically with another school in New Zealand, in order to learn Gagana Tokelau from the experts?

Links to The New Zealand Curriculum

Tokelauan Language Week supports the curriculum principles of cultural diversity and inclusion, and provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate the vision of connection to a global community, explore the values of diversity, community, and respect and make use of key competencies, especially using language, symbols and texts, and relating to others.


By teaching Pasifika languages, schools can help meet the goals of TapasāTapasā is a framework and tool designed to build the cultural competencies of teachers and leaders, helping them engage with Pacific learners and their parents, families, and communities to make the biggest difference in a child’s educational success.

Learn some simple greetings and phrases in Tokelau

Malo ni – Hello 

Malo te aofia mai – Welcome 

Fakamolemole – Please 

Fakafetai – Thank you 

Ke manuiakoei te alofa o te Atua – May you be blessed in God's love

Key resources

Gagana Tokelau: The Tokelau Language Guidelines and Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau 
These teaching and learning guides are designed to support the teaching and learning of the Gagana Tokelau in New Zealand schools. They are aimed at all levels.

Tokelauan language fact sheet (PDF 860 KB)
Find helpful words, phrases, and proverbs. 

Pasifika dual language resources
The Pasifika dual language resources are designed to support the early language and literacy learning of Pasifika new entrant students in English-medium classrooms. Teacher and parent support material accompanies these resources. 

Tokelau dictionary
An online Gagana Tokelau dictionary

Seven things you should know about Tokelau
Seven things you should know about Tokelau from Te Papa's blog.

Te Vaka
A traditionally-influenced, contemporary Pacific band. Their songs are almost all in the language of Tokelau.

Supporting Resources

Inclusive Education Guides for Schools – Supporting Pasifika students
This guide focuses on inclusive teaching and learning strategies that can be used in the classroom to create a more effective learning environment for all Pasifika students.

Pasifika Education Community
This TKI site has resources, curriculum links, and guidelines for teachers working alongside Pasifika communities.

LEAP is a professional learning resource developed for teachers working in mainstream New Zealand classrooms with bilingual Pasifika students.

School journal resources

The Instructional Series has several texts with a Tokelauan theme. Here are two of our favourites: 

Tafoe O! by Hio Kelemete
Every Sunday, a group of Tokelau adults and children meet in Wellington to pass on cultural knowledge. Recently, artist and master carver Paulino Tuwhala guided the group through the task of carving foe (paddles), which they used to perform a tafoe (dance).

Solar Power in Tokelau by Iona McNaughton
This report highlights the world-first achievement of Tokelau in using renewable energy sources (solar energy and coconut oil) for all its electricity. It explains why Tokelau decided to switch from using fossil fuels and includes comments from a Tokelau family that illustrate the impact of the change. 

Updated on: 23 Sep 2019