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At the forefront of Pacific Language and Culture in Aotearoa since 1978

NZQA accreditation raises the mana of Pacific languages in Aotearoa

Raising the mana of Pacific languages is the focus of new changes at the Pasifika Education Centre (PEC). 

To coincide with PEC’s 40 th anniversary, all of the Centre’s Pacific language courses are now formally recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
“It’s another great reason to celebrate PEC’s 40 th anniversary as the first Pacific community education provider in Aotearoa,” says Chief Executive Christine Nurminen. “Not only is PEC adding more Pacific language programmes to the NZQA, PEC is contributing to the wider education sector in terms of opportunities for gaining a formal record of learning from the programmes that we offer”

PEC is both a Charitable Trust and a private training establishment or PTE which teaches Cook Islands Māori, Fijian, Samoan, Tongan, Niue and Rotuman languages at varying introductory levels. The centre has also been running an NZQA accredited Pacific Cultural Competency course since 2015. Its latest NZQA accreditations for PEC.

“We did this because we saw the value of legitimising our existing programmes with the authorities of the land - NZQA” says Christine.

“Our learners are adults, parents and community leaders who seek out PEC’s classes not just for a record of learning but to claim their identity,” says Christine. “They come to access not just knowledge but a sense of who they are and what belongs to them - in an environment where others are on that same journey as well.”

Christine adds that working with NZQA has helped enrich the authority’s own knowledge of Pacific languages.

“One of our most popular classes is the Fa’amatai (Samoan chief) class and in the NZQA world, we value that we are strengthening this terminology in the framework, where there is no unit standard for ‘Fa’amatai’,” says Christine. “PEC was able to enrich their system, deepen their framework and celebrate that this is a legitimate term used in schools and also workplaces with Pacific peoples.”

“It’s a step closer to the wider conversation about the status of Pacific peoples and what we contribute to Aotearoa.”


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