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RNZ Pacific

Two radio stations linked to the French Pacific’s decolonisation movements want to co-operate to lift the use of indigenous languages.

The heads of Radio Tefana in French Polynesia and Radio Djiido in New Caledonia said this was in line with the United Nations declaring the next 10 years as the decade of vernacular languages.

Tahiti Nui TV quoted a member of Radio Djiido, Kengy Wiwale-Hauata, saying New Caledonia had 30 local languages and they were all honoured on the radio every day.

The two stations plan to expand co-operation in the region, considering partnerships with Wallis and Futuna, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji.

The two stations were set up in the 1980s when the pro-independence movements were led by Oscar Temaru and the late Jean-Marie Tjibaou respectively. Both broadcast on the frequency 97.4FM.

Radio Tefana is threatened with closure because of a US$1 million fine imposed three years ago when Temaru, mayor of Faa’a and a former President of French Polynesia, was handed a suspended prison sentence over the station’s funding arrangement.

The conviction has been appealed but a hearing of the case has been deferred for a fifth time until next year.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

Radio Tefana logo
Radio Tefana … its existence is threatened by a US$1 million fine, currently under appeal. Image: Radio Tefana
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