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Tokelau Lower Hutt Fono Summary

 “A child will feel safe if they are wrapped in their culture”

“We should give priority to realm languages but we don’t have the liberty of time, not many native speakers are left and Tokelauan people don’t live forever. We can’t wait for everything to be right.”

Are these important to you?

  • All responses are supportive of the focus areas. The most commonly commented on priority is the one about supporting families.
  • A number of comments suggesting that working with families needs supportive leadership, principals and trustees. Also suggestions for a website with education and health links and notices etc. and more partnership opportunities like PowerUP. Sacred Heart College noted as a good example of connecting with parents.
  • The other priority with support was addressing racism and discrimination and valuing Pacific cultures. There is support for the continuity of learning the language from ECE through to Secondary.
  • Young people were supportive of having Tokelau language classes, celebrating language weeks etc. 

Is there something missing?

  • Most comments relate to actions to support these priorities. People want:
    • More activities for the Tokelau community
    • Website with information about education, health, anything in the Tokelau language
    • Information nights for parents, including bringing PowerUP back
  • The Inati system needs to be the foundation for education – a metaphor for no-one being left behind
    • This is about everyone being looked after, resources being distributed equitably, based on collective values rather than individual ones. In this system, the most vulnerable are at the top of the list. At the heart of Inati is a ‘we’ approach
  • You need the principal behind the change and school leadership teams. They must work together with parents. 

What would you change about the areas?

  • Include opportunities in the curriculum to learn about all cultures and ethnicities
  • Support for children outside of school – online support, tutors, support groups to help them keep up with school work
  • Tokelau language speakers working in schools to help with language
  • English support for children who have recently arrived from Tokelau
  • Upskilling non-Pacific staff so the Pacific staff aren’t burdened
  • More meetings/consultations with MOE in order to feel comfortable and know what’s going on
  • Tokelau language in the school curriculum
  • Professional development programmes for parents to help them understand what is happening in schools 

Questions and comments

  • Multiple questions about bringing PowerUP back
  • What is the link between the Ministry of Education and communities? There needs to be good strong links. What is the place of regional offices in working with communities?
  • We need to find out where Tokelauans are in the education system. Good date is really important and Tokelauans are quite vulnerable
  • How do we engage parents and schools to these specific areas of importance?
  • What is MOE's long term plan to get more teachers?  Pacific (Whitireia Pasifika ECE has closed).

Most common indicators of success (in order)

  • Pacific learners can learn about their heritage and culture
  • Pacific learners and their families feel accepted and included
  • Education leaders do things to show they value Pacific cultures
  • Pacific learners can learn in their language throughout their education
  • There are no financial barriers to accessing education for Pacific learners and families

Other definitions of success:

  • Being proud of your Tokelauan identity
  • Being a fluent speaker
  • Being comfortable in your environment

Tokelau Lower Hutt Fono Summary [PDF]